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Just Another Love Story

I’m sure love stories like these have been told before and will continue to be told in the years to come. Then again, all love stories aren’t the same. They may or may not have the same happy ending as some of you reading this may have had; but it’s a love story nevertheless and it’s worth telling.

A couple was walking hand in hand on a small street; their love for each other visible for everyone to marvel at. It had been a few years since they were married, yet they couldn’t resist stopping in the middle of the street and sharing a kiss or talking in animated voices. Old couples who would pass by them would whisper a silent prayer to always keep them together.

On one of the weekends, while they were walking past a row of shops, the wife’s eyes swooped down on a glittering ring made of diamonds. Immediately, she prodded her husband to look down and said “I want that”. The husband replied, “It’s way above our budget and moreover, why do you need a diamond ring? Don’t I provide you with enough and more? This is just a silly craving, nothing else”.

The wife would hear none of it and rebuked him saying “What nonsense is this? Are you saying that you love me less now? I want this ring at any cost and I don’t want to hear you saying no to my demands. If you aren’t able to purchase it now, It’s fine, but I will be expecting this as a birthday gift” and with that she walked on ahead.

Many weeks passed and it was the wife’s birthday. The wife was growing mad with anticipation with the thought of receiving the diamond ring as a birthday gift and so, when her husband arrived from work, she rushed into his arms and gave him the biggest of hugs. The husband, knowing exactly the reason for the hug said nothing and handed her something small wrapped in a beautiful package.

She stared awkwardly at the package for a while and then, slowly unwrapping the cover, she brought out a small Bible with her name embossed in gold lettering at the top. She stood motionless for a while and then with a glaring look at her husband yelled at the top of her voice. “Is this a cruel joke that you’re playing on me? I asked you for a diamond ring and not a Bible and that too, a Bible with my name embossed in gold. Is this your way of showing love after all these years that we’ve been married?”

The husband tried to make her understand but she was overcome with rage to listen to him. In the next thirty minutes, she had packed her clothes and stomped out of the house leaving her husband and their life. She didn’t want to hear from him ever again and she had decided that she would never forgive him for the grief he had caused her.

Image Credit – flickrhivemind.net

Years later, she had made a name for herself and found love again. They were married and had all the happiness in the world that they desired but the love she shared with her second husband was nothing like the one she shared with her first. One day, while she was reminiscing about her first husband, she receives a letter saying that her first husband had perished in a plane crash during his business travel on his return home.

She was struck with grief remembering how she had walked out of their home and their lives. She collected herself and proceeded to read the rest of the letter which said that her husband had willed all his possessions to her making her the sole owner. She couldn’t believe what she was reading and wondered why his behaviour towards her hadn’t changed after she had walked out on them all those years ago.

Knowing that she had to be present to ensure that all the matters were taken care of, she went back to her first home. Walking into the hallway, all those memories came rushing by of the happy years that they had spent with each other in this home. On the table was the same Bible that he had gifted her on her birthday. Though the cover was peeling off slightly, she could still see her name embossed in gold lettering.

 With tears dripping silently, she opened the pages of the Bible to the page that he had marked for her to read. When she neared the end, she noticed a small cut on the top of the Bible like a little flap. As she opened the flap, a small package fell out of it. Shaking uncontrollably now, she opened the small package to find the diamond ring intact and still glittering as the day she first laid her eyes on it. On the inner circle of the ring, was an engraving on which the words were written, ‘Love you always’.

This is a modified work from the article that appeared in Bendor so Talo, a Mangalorean weekly newspaper by Patsy Britto. You will find versions of this story over the internet as well. To see a few, click here and here.

As a disclaimer, I would like to state that this is not a copied work from any other source but a story that has been told over the years, though, through many different versions. This is my version of it.

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A Whole New Look at Shopping

I’ve been writing on and off on my consumer review blog at Mouthshut for about eight years now. What started as a very small unit has now grown into a big family with a lot of users commenting on how they found a certain product. The honesty in the reviews is helping us users to make a better informed decision before buying a certain product. Thanks to the rise of the Internet era, a lot many things can be done online, the most recent of which is the craze for shopping online.

Here’s a review of what I had written on Online Shopping and the effect it has on us as a whole. I’m sure most of you will agree too with my points. Feel free to comment.

Note: The below is a slightly modified reproduction of the post in Mouthshut.

I remember the times when we used to start Antakshari with the song,

– Baite Baite Kya Kare, Karna Hai Kuch Kaam, Shuru Kare Antakshari, Leke Prabhu Ka Naam.

You must be wondering why I have highlighted those two words, Antakshari and Prabhu? It is because now, we have changed that song to,

– Baite Baite Kya Kare, Karna Hai Kuch Kaam, Shuru Kare Shopping, Leke Online Ka Naam.

Image Courtesy – Group Solus

Gone are the days when we used to wait for our fathers to come back home from a hard day’s work and take us out shopping. We used to enjoy these times because for most of us, it was a break from school, from homework, housework or any other work. Along with shopping, there was a chance of probably going to a mela where the popcorn is always butterly delicious and where there is no age bar for going on the ferris wheel. But, you know what? All that has been taken away with the advent of online shopping. Now, sitting at your desk, you can order anything and everything under the sun. From bags to shoes, from goggles to watches, from shirts to socks. Whatever you want.

The online experience doesn’t stop at that. It keeps evolving as and when the numbers go up showing that it can respond to your requirements. Some of the stores now have a new shopping style which lets the consumer stand outside the shop and via the use of a touch screen, look at the various designs and collections that the store has. With imaging sensors, the touch screen puts an image of you on the screen so it looks like you’re actually trying the product without actually wearing it. If it doesn’t look good you can replace it. 🙂 Last, but not the least, once you’re done with the selection, just input your shipping address and swipe your credit card and voila, the items are delivered to you in a day or two. No more waiting for trial rooms to get free, looking at various designs and thinking if it will look good on you. Everything is done with a swipe of your fingers.

But that is just a small thing when you have so many other online stores. In the latest spew of online shopping experiences, we have ebay, flipkart, snapdeal, myntra, jabong and various others that keep coming up every other day promising the user a remarkable experience of a whole new level of shopping experience. Some of them even have a points / credits system for joining up. BTW – That’s how I got hooked onto one of it. 🙂

Great! So now that we have basically understood the gist of what online shopping is about, let’s dive into some of the respective pros and cons.

PROS:

– Easily accessible at the touch of a finger or a click of the mouse.
– Variety of colors, designs and trends to choose from.
– Can purchase anything from A – Z.
– Items delivered right to your door step without charging the consumer (some sites)
– Handy return policy (some sites)

CONS:

– Consumer tends to buy more than what is required or needed.
– Credit card companies are benefited immensely by online shopping while giving heart attacks to the consumers at the end of the month.
– Intangible. As in, you can’t touch or feel the actual product(s) until after it is delivered.
– Same or better deal on other site(s) which makes the consumer confused as to which site he / she should order from.
– Unhelpful customer care executives (for certain inquiries)

So what do we have then? Well, for me, the biggest con that I would say is that you lose out on a great shopping experience with your family, where the entertainment is to go out to a nearby mall, do a little window shopping, go into a few shops, try some clothes on, spray some perfumes on yourself or try on some watches and maybe catch a movie too afterwards. However, you do get some really good deals on online stores that you would not get in a store if you went and purchased the product yourself. Sadly, there are two sides to this story and the coin is standing just in the middle.

As for me, my first shopping experience online made me buy a pair of sneakers for which I got a good discount too. The packaging that it came in did look a little old but I was happy when I saw that the manufacturing date was hardly six months ago. Still, I wear those sneakers proudly and I don’t have any regrets in buying it online. It can be an addiction for those who are / show a compulsive behavior to buying things online. So, “Buyers Beware”

Hopefully, you’ll will have a good shopping experience and see that there’s nothing wrong in indulging in this at times but you shouldn’t lose out on the actual shopping because that’s where the most fun lies.

Cheers!

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