"MeyDum, ondhu pyaket thogonDre, ondhu spoon free" (madam if you buy one packet, you'll get one spoon free) Yes....and then 12 packets were bought...how else could you make a set of 12 spoons for your cutlery set?!!!
Remember those times...( i've lost out on that scenario, 'cos I moved into apartments) I dont know their skill , but all I can remember is them ringing the doorbell exactly 9 minutes after you dozed off into noon nap..ech....they would refuse to go away....if you didnt open the door and look at their plastered faces...they would keep their grimy fingers on that drasted doorbell of yours.
And then when you opened the door, they would erupt, spontaneously into their tirade of...."buy one take one free"....and even if you did open the door and bought something...they would furiously scrawl something ineligible in black nonwashable something on your neatly painted wall.. :( . Reminds me of Alladin and the 40 thieves.. gulp
How many badam packets has my mother in law bought..." Ille, spoon nalla irukku" (no, the spoons are of good quality) she would say and I would go....eekss....but what would I do with 12 badam packets???? I hate them......but 12 spoons it was.
The kitchen piled up on steel tumblers, 'eversilver' ( stainless steel) dabras( katoris , cups) , then one day, if you were lucky, it would also change into some fine printed handkerchief...yes....that the poor hanky would finally shrink to the size of the nose, is a different matter...
There was this set of ladies who would make their visit to our house regularly...naturally..they wouldn't miss out on their best customer, would they? And then my mother in law, would complain about the previous rusting plate that they had offered and to exchange it...but " NO....the offer had changed :D !!!!
It was now one packet of sanitary napkins free with the other...gaaawwwd....I have seen the whole room reeling under the weight of those blue packets....what with 3 women...grrrr one years supply...baaah bwaaah
I was absolutely sure that we were the only family who did this...but to my horror, my mother told me, that her neighbour also did the same. But her reasoning was different..." poor girls, if they dont sell something, they won't get commission( that was how it worked...commission on n number of products sold) "
So then the house would be decorated with the encyclopedia, the cookery books....those that were sold on promotional tactics ..." we are giving a 70% off, ma'm" in their very accented perfect english. Now I wonder...why was it that the guy would always be accompanied by a smartly dressed girl, and the girl would do all the yacking while the poor guy stood quietly lookin hopefully to see that promising positive look in our eyes?!!! Of course I fell into that trap too....books being my weakness....and each time they targeted me in the office...so I now have a collection of 'fruits for all occassion', 'potatos and their magic'...'world books', 'Saarus', 'icecreams'...no...i'm stuck with them...
It also reminds me of the pastime we used to have as kids....no tv then...Bangalore had not yet got its tv...so it was us sitting playing traditional games, chaukabara, drawing, reading books, and of course listening and aping the "steel paaaaathre saaamaaanyo" ( steel utensilssss)...and then would get that glare from the big man...who would turn around his head with all the steel utensils carefully, skillfully, placed and also hanging out of the cane basket, like the BTS buses with commuters spilling all over the door. Today when I see all the neat old clothes, sarees, etc and trying to give them away or donate them...I think back to those scorched afternoons when that man would go about screeching in his nasal tones...while his lil boy would hold one piece of that steel carrier with the handle...wondering if in the next house, the lady would give away some saree with Zari..( it fetched a better price, you see!!) or some hapless suit..
Thankfully now we get all the freebies stuck into the glossy sheets of the ever popular magazines...Sunsilk shampoo sachets, meera shikakai, the get children yantras, and cds too...no more doorbells ringing...but no more "MeyDum"..... too :(