Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jack and the bean "stock"

What you see in this picture is a bean. I chanced upon this when I opened my vegetable shopping to prepare a meal. Looking at the scribbles on the bean, I simply didn’t understand why is this there? Is it a secret code or something? It appeared to be a quick calculation that was the handiwork of the vegetable vendor from whom I shopped. People here in India stock vegetables for a couple of days or a week. At the shop there are almost always 3-4 shoppers buying vegetables, carefully sifting through fresh stock of different quantities depending on family size or stocking requirements. The shopkeeper, often a villager who comes to the market to sell his produce comes alone and sequentially deals with each vegetable buying request. 1 kilo beans for buyer A, half kilo tomatoes for buyer B, 2 kilos potatoes for buyer A, handful green chilies for buyer C, and so on. When buyer A or B or C is done, he will recollect how much of what has been purchased and prepares the total cost mentally before collecting payment. Sometimes, these poor shopkeepers get overwhelmed and since they don’t use expensive calculators or receipt books, they find such beans to be handy and useful to record the purchases of, what in this particular example looks to be a large purchase, which perhaps includes vegetables and fruits. When I purchased some beans, this came along in my lot. My first reaction was to throw away what looked to be a spoilt bean.

Monday, July 24, 2006

a beginning in the middle

I have been blogging in my own virtual world; the posts lie as drafts here and there; they are about this and that. I always wanted to get more ready in terms of my style, my interests, before I blogged publicly. I realized the futility of it and hence, a beginning is what I make today, in the middle of my preparation, in the middle of this popular activity. I join 70 million blogs this July morning as was reported in the Blog Herald. I hope to keep it meaningful.