Friday, December 09, 2005

Will the Real Bag Lady Please Stand Up?

Well okay, I have to confess it. If there was one thing I really “identified with” or one label that people have given me which I think is at least sort of true, it is that of “bag lady”. I am the original bag lady, no doubt about it. But every time I say that, my friend Sushama from Delhi contests it, saying she is the original bag lady, because she is far more crazy about bags than I am.

What being a “bag lady” means in effect, is that every time I go shopping for anything – and I mean anything - clothes, stationary, food, CD’s - I somehow end up buying bags. Small bags, big bags, pouches, haversacks, party bags, one-strap bags, wallets. You name it. Sometimes I buy the other things I need, as well. Most often I end up buying two or three bags each time I shop for bread or soft drinks or things like that, which over the years has amounted to an entire cupboard full of bags, some of which I use, most of which I don’t use but none of which I want to throw away.

The other day Sushama, who is visiting from Delhi, came over and we went to Flora Fountain on a shopping spree. I actually wanted to buy a sleeping bag and Sushama didn’t want to buy any bags. We hunted high and low for this shop which we had been to about a year back, amidst dozens of similar hole in the wall shops and not being able to spot it at all, were on the verge of giving up, thinking they had folded up or moved house or something when Sushama suddenly went "There it is!"


We tumbled out of the car and headed straight for the little den crammed with backpacks, purses, shoulder bags, all kinds of bags. The shopkeeper’s son, a guy called Ali served us and in minutes was able to give me what I was looking for. A neat, light weight, cheap sleeping bag to take with me on my trip down south in January. This time, I have to confess I was satisfied with buying a sleeping bag, though Sushama who had not wanted to buy any bags hung around and looked and looked and sifted through immense piles of haversacks and cabin luggage and vanity cases and at the end of an hour, had collected four items which she ended up buying. Ali was so moved by her interest and her propensity for spending so much money in his shop that he got hold of a huge sack full of the latest small bags he had picked up from China and said we could each pick up one for free.

Well, we fell on it like a pack of starving wolves and each of us came out of this treasure hunt clutching three pieces and fixing Ali with entreating looks – which made him squirm a bit, because after all he had meant like ONE piece – but eventually we settled for two free bags each. I got a waist pouch for my mother and a small mobile pouch for my dad. Ali was happy, we were happy and I conceded Sushama first place. She is indeed the original bag lady. I come a poor second in comparison.


Group website: www.basicindia.net

7 comments:

Stardust1954 said...

Amusing story. :-) Maybe you can send me some of your bags to put my pens in...I am a pen freak. Ink pens or all types, colors, and quality. I have hundreds of them here and there all over the place. Calligraphy pens, gel pens, colored fine-point Sharpies, metallic ink pens, fat wide-point markers, jewled encrusted pens, ceramic pens, wooden Chinese pens, and all sorts of brands and colors of regular ball points. I could go on and on with all the types I have accumulated. And I keep buying more.

umarang said...

Oooooooh Stardust! Besides being a bag freak, I am a pen freak too! I dont use them that often now but I have a collection too. One or two antiques I got from my father - among them, a Schaeffers.

riwei said...

As Sushama's husband, I have a sinking feeling as I read this....the prospect of sharing my home and hearth with yet more bags none of which will probably ever see the light of day. However, burglars who are bag-freaks are well advised to stay away from our home. Bags are strategically positioned in every room so as to collapse in a noisy heap, be slipped upon and bring about brain damage, or both.

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