I was listening to Yesudas singing to the tunes of M S Baburaj when he knocked the door. I lowered the volume irritated and bend out to open the door. It was a smart looking young man who introduced himself as Marketing Executive of a multi national company.
“Yes, how can I be of any help?” I asked.
Moving forward and unshouldering a bulky bag he longed a packet to me and said. “Well sir, this is our new product which can be used even by a child of less than 5”.
He unwrapped the product and started highlighting its features like, time saving, power saving and so on. I found some thing missing in his words but I did not ask any thing. He continued his narration and after five long minutes he took a pause and looked at me to take out his invoice book.
I asked “shall I know what for your this piece is used?”
He took a back a little and regaining his existence said “ sorry sir, I forgot to tell you, Well sir, this is used for toasting bread and as you know we all are having the habit of taking bread every morning and evening, this product suites your requirement. If you go for your conventional cooking, you will have to devote your entire time on it and at the same time, if you try our product, you will definitely feel that your morning is very fresh because there is no need to cook in quantities but in micro number as required”.
He said it could be better to make food instantly according to the need of each person otherwise the cool atmosphere inside the room would make the food flabbier.
I tried to hide clouds of rashness and said “see, I am not interested, please, I don’t want”
He caught at his neck to make his tie a little bit slack and threw an innocent appeal to me and after a suspension started explaining the offers that the ‘company’ gives to those ‘ first 10 persons’ who buys it, rather ‘gets’ it, as he said. He said depending upon the usage by the wannabe the company would give back the money paid!
“Why it is so?” I asserted with curiosity “if I pay for this item and I continuously use it, I shall win bonus every year by way of return of capital?”
“Yes sir, the scheme is aimed at promoting new food habits”.
“You mean, we should take bread toast every morning and evening?”
“That’s obvious! We expect that in the years to come there is enormous scope for bread” and he narrated the changing nature of employment and human schedules. He said “our company does not want such busy persons suffer. We have a long run perception that we serve the most remote areas of the world”.
“Then what are your main criteria for return of capital?” I asked.
He said the number of breads toasted would be recorded in the memory unit of the toaster and the same would be decisive factor for capital return. For a few seconds I went back to my childhood and recollected the sweet memory of my winning of an ink bottle without a lid from a thambola at a temple fest. While recovering from the yesteryears I heard “….kanmashiyum kunkumavum karivalayum vangiduvan………” and fastening a smile on my lips I said “ I don’t think that this would be of any help to me, after all, I live here jointly with my aged parents who seldom like to have bread through out the day. I do agree that your product has some power saving device built in, but our food habits can not be compromised to the economies offered by your company. As you see, this is not an air conditioned house”.
Taking a deep breath he defended “I agree sir, but tomorrow…. it is going to be new generation day where you will find it very difficult to adjust your schedules with that of your children and even your grand parents will be forced to follow it”.
I have already found my parents surpassing any young one by substituting television plays to Ramayana during karkkidakam. I have already started buying imported mangoes for them. I have noticed the elegancy of woman while pushing the trolley of Big Bazars and retails giants and the punch they have while entering ATM counters. I have noticed the upsetting change that my former servant maid had when she was promoted as ‘home nurse’ by one of the ‘service providers’. During my recent visit to Guruvayoor temple, I have noticed old women dressed in salwars in the shrine as if they were waiting for the decision of the government to enter the temple for the first time!! I recollected how many Bank executives would have approached me offering car loans after seeing my 1987 model motor car!
“Yes, time has changed” I muttered.
“Sir..?” he asked “did you say anything sir?”
“Nothing, but….. let me buy one piece” I replied.
Now I have become the part of new generation!!!! I have changed my food habits- from now onwards we will have bread toasted in the highly sophisticated toaster manufactured and marketed by multi national companies who have taken a vow to make the entire land free from conventional food habits, thanks to globalization. Now I take very fresh food independently and have it while engaged in other work confining myself to the air conditioned room specially modified according to the company (MNC) norms. But what happened to my cassettes?
“aadiyil vachanamundayi, aa vachanam roopamaayi…..” Yes it is there!