The ‘ fortune’ I made from my imported plastics 13/02/2012

‘The shopkeeper will buy whatever you wish to dispose off’, informed my cousin who had a first hand experience of unwillingly parting with her large  utensils and other sundry items  for want of space in her small apartment complex.  ‘You can exchange all your old things for new  stainless steel ware or any other kitchen ware you may require’,  she added most emphatically.

Thanking her profusely for mentioning the name of the shop I  immediately started taking stock of all the unwanted things in my house which I had

gathered over the years. They  constituted an array of things—Bread toasters which had conked off,  Electric rice cookers which stopped doing their job, my cute little  imported sewing machine and knife sharpener (which proved looks are deceptive) for which I paid eight pounds each in a shop in London during our first visit there and a few brass lamps which looked pathetic for want of regular washing or polishing and old leather handbags and pouches which had no use for me anymore. Placing all these in three  oversized  cloth bags ,I  headed to the store taking an auto rickshaw. Noticing me bearing down on their weight, the auto driver was kind enough to cart  my ‘baggage’ till the entrance of the large  store. I was quite stunned at the sight that greeted me- there was a small queue of ladies surrounded by extra large vessels made of different metals—brass, aluminum, stainless steel and copper. There were  a few items of  the ‘cook and serve’ variety besides  a couple of non stick pans, all looking brand new!

I  noticed a man deftly placing one item after another and noting down its weight on a piece of paper. After he was done he  turned  round  to me and drew the  three cloth bags towards him and had a cursory look  at the contents. When my imported  sewing machine and the knife sharpener placed at the top  of the two  bags caught his eye , he almost grunted saying he had no use for such things and shouted ‘ next’ which meant he expected me to clear out. Quite cheesed off by his abrupt dismissal, I made a hasty exit cursing myself for taking my cousin at her word. More than the problem of  carrying  a weight of  four or five  kilos till I could spot an auto to return home, the prospect of facing my husband’s comments  when he would know I couldn’t  exchange  old for the new  didn’t appeal to me.  Before I had set out  he had  suggested  we call the old paperwala home and give away all  the unwanted things for what ever price he would offer and I wanted to prove I was wiser than my husband in such matters.

As I was  on my way home in the auto, on the spur of the moment I  told  the  driver to stop at the nearest old newspaper mart  and asked the man sitting there what price he would offer for ‘imported’ plastic  items. ‘we don’t differentiate between foreign and Indian, all plastic is  two rs. a kilo madam’, he replied promptly.

‘What about brass?’, I asked.

Rs.250/a kilo, he said. He weighed the stuff, scribbled something on a piece of old paper.

It read:  Plastic –five kilos-rs.10; Brass: 500grams:rs.125/

I collected rs.135/ and came home with a profit of  rs.10, (balance left after deducting rs.120/ towards auto fare to and fro.)

(published in Eve’s Touch, February 2012 issue)

n.meera raghavendra rao


6 thoughts on “The ‘ fortune’ I made from my imported plastics 13/02/2012

  1. V Raghavan

    If you keep the old paper wala on the right side, he can be of great help. I called mine two days ago and he took one month of Hindu and Economic Times for Rs. 80 @ Rs 8 per kilo. Once he took my old vacuum cleaner in working condition for Rs 500. No overheads at all. All is profit!

  2. Prof. V.N.K.Kumar

    Right from our “Hunting & Gathering” days, men had to be aggressive & competitive to pursue & kill game and for this they had to have a decent self-esteem. So in order not to erode their macho self esteem, their humour was of the “putting down others” kind of thing. The women folk who were the gatherers of fruits, seeds, nuts, roots & edible flowers had to live cooperatively with each other, helping each other during their long gestation periods and in the absence of their hunter-husbands. So their humour was more of the “putting oneself down” kind so as not to alienate others. This is the insight from Evolutionary psychology.

    Though “Laughing at oneself” perhaps comes naturally to women, only women with high self-esteem can do it effortlessly. Women with a low self-esteem are so depressed that they cannot put themselves down.

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