May is going to be an interesting month this year. Quite a few milestones are coming my way. I will complete 5 years working with SNDU. If you have forgotten I work with this chota sa nanha sa company called Sabun Nakhun and Datun Unlimited. We sell soaps, nail polish and tooth brushes. When I started out, this was a milestone we never even thought would come along. And the fact remains that still on Monday mornings, I look forward to going to work and sell some more soaps or soups, whatever the case might be.
There are distinct changes in behaviour that have crept in over the last few years. Brand preferences and dislikes are stronger than ever. The World of Brands seems more and more like an “Us and Them” situation. Imagine what wouldn’t you give to know if you truly are a Nikon loyalist or is it you truly are a canon buff but have been coaxed into the Nikon fold. “us and them” Always :)
Today in the super market I went all around to find a bottle of ketchup that I love. It had to be that one and nothing else would make the omelette taste as good and I made her wait. And you don’t dare do that when we are already getting late.The more I see around me, the more I realize how Brands become a part of our daily inertia and if are not in the consideration set, or in the subconscious, then you are not in the shopping basket. Sigh.
Coming back to the second milestone, I complete 9 months in a new city outside India. 9 months is an important time frame. It’s the time required for a new birth. And it seems the same for me. Singapore is no longer a new city. Singapore has helped me blend in a lot easier than I thought possible. But I miss the simple joys of life. Most importantly my second source of income has dried down significantly. Let me explain.
In Mumbai, we used to get 3 newspapers, TOI, Mumbai Mirror and Eco Times. Now whether we read them or not, at the end of the month there were always newspapers which needed to be sold. Add to that the ketchup bottles and other paraphernalia that typically gets collected in a house. Now we always had our “kabadiwala” come at a specified date with the gossip about our more famous neighbours and we would know the rates a famous bollywood actress’ gatekeeper charged for the newspapers. So by selling them the stuff, not only would I earn about Rs. 100 every month but also get the latest news even before it appeared on Page 3. And the joy of buying veggies that day with the 100 bucks? Priceless.
But in The First World Nation of Singapore, there is no Kabadiwala and there is no additional income and there’s no gossip.
And there’s 100 days! Last known it was this awesome thriller where Jackie Shroff was the villain who was actually not a true blue villain (In pre Darr days, before SRK changed the game, we never had anti heroes) and Madhuri had supernatural powers and there was Moon Moon Sen in what could have been the equivalent of Hitchcock’s psycho’s famous death scene. However, my 100 days are happy ones. Of having someone to come back to, of looking forward to peeling potatoes and pumpkins, of buying soupy noodles through people coming in from India, of buying more apples than wafers while shopping for groceries and actually learning to be more responsible.
Phew! May is a tough one :)