The helping hand

The helping hand

April 1, 2013 Off By Vinayak Gole


The mall next door pronounced a sale and my self being a prominent proponent of frugality decided to go hunt for any deals worth the money available on my credit card. The mall was decked up and I loved the full force of people jostling and pushing to get in. A good crowd is always good entertainment. At the door, as I made my way to the Gents’ security check queue, the guard gently pointed out the board which spelled out “Gents”.

“This way sir” he pointed out. And I just looked at him for a moment. I do look literate, with my thick glasses and my nerdy look. And I am definitely not blind enough yet to stand in a queue full of ladies. He smiled and I moved on. Help was always at hand.

I stepped into the first superstore, announcing a flat 40% off on all merchandise. I looked around for anything interesting that could catch my fancy.

“Namaste sir, How can I help you?” The voice behind me nearly made me jump.

“No thanks. I am just looking.” I replied. And turning around I was greeted by the same false smile plastered below unexpressive eyes. I continued looking.

“Sir, we have wonderful discounts on this brand of shirts here.” He, the helping hand was already pointing me out to the rack with the loudest of checks and the brightest of colors.

“No thanks. But I do not prefer loud colors. I will let you know, if I like something.”But my rebuke had been in vain. The smile had not altered one bit in either width or length.

I just turned around and walked out, disgusted. What was the point of buying something if there was no peace. Well, it wasn’t the end of the world nor the sale and there were other places to be explored. Next stop, next shop.

This place looked interesting. I even happened to like a particular piece of well cut shirt.

“Hello sir, how can I help you?” And it’s the same false grin with the same waiting pose.

“Do you have this for size 39?” I said picking up the shirt. There was nothing to help but the hand desperately wanted to.

After some shuffling, the hand said,” No sir, not in 39 but we have 40 and it should go well with you.”

“No thanks, I know what fits me and I would like to have it in 39.” And I started to move out.

“Sir, you should try this. It’s a new pattern and is available in 39.” The shirt in question was another loud checkered one in red.

The best I could do was twirl my nose and walk out. Disgusted again.

Fed up I decided to quit my idea of shopping for garments and focus my attention on something else. I headed for the electronics superstore. My headphones had stopped functioning some time back and I needed some music as I skipped around the gym.

But the “helping hand” syndrome seemed to have followed me here as well. I was being politely pushed to buy a headphone which was way out of my taste.

And finally after a day of being helped, everywhere I went, I gave up. I turned back empty handed. The over zealousness of the hand that was ever ready to help had killed my desire. Maybe some other time, when help would not be at hand.

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