December 2012 in Kolkata

It was 25th December, 2012. Thankfully, the world hadn’t come to an end on 20th as the Mayans had predicted.

Christmas is good – It’s when IT Services offshoring companies grant leaves to employees happily because all of their clients will be on leave during these days. I had resigned from my the then job just few days back and was planning for the next venture. I went to Salt Lake City Center that evening with my x-roomie, who also happened to be an employee working in the same company at a senior level. I was way too younger than him and he was charismatic.

That evening, I thought of visiting the imagine store, where they sell Apple products, to gaze at gadgets, the upscale market was into.

Then, on the corner I saw this magnificence – a 21 inch iMac, desktop. I was swept away. It was exactly the model I was looking for. Checked the price tag – I had exactly some 300 bucks in my account surplus than what was written on it. TBH the number was darn low.

Could I procrastinate & let it go – No. Apple had launched new thinner models with irreplaceable RAM. This model had become the part of end-of-life series. No doubt these thick Macs were almost extinct.

“Excuse me, do you more of these models in Stock” (pretending to be buying from the other store citing some inconvenience)

“Yes Sir, we’ve another model in Axis mall. But one model is booked.” (Although, I could sense that it was an artificial scarcity he introduced here, but I knew, if I waited a few more months, I won’t find this anywhere else).

Dang, its price was lesser than an 11 inch macbook air that time. It was the deal and I couldn’t wait.

I wanted that then & there. Gave a token amount and booked it. I took a day to make my mind up.

Next day I arrived in & swiped the card.

“Sir, seems limit exceeded. Looks like you have a cap of 50k”

“Dang! I never thought about that. Can I give rest in cash?”

“Lemme check!… (after a brief pause) Yes sir.”

I rushed out with immense madness hunting for the nearest ATM, found one, withdrew & rushed back. Those excitements of making the big purchase. It is in fact the biggest investment I’ve made so far.

“Here, please make a bill & whatever apple account or formalities”

Packs the box. Sticks the bill on it.

“Done Sir! But how do you plan to take it? Car se? Taxi se?”

“Auto se”

He couldn’t believe his ears perhaps, with a surprised look he asked – “Yes Sir?”

“I said, Auto se le jaunga” (I’ll take it by an auto rickshaw)


He still couldn’t believe what I said, it seemed. And there was no reason why he wouldn’t be surprised. Back in December 2012, a new iPhone 5 used to cost upwards of Rs. 100,000. How many such Apple buyers he’d have seen who come to buy an iPhone worth a fortune and then go back on an auto rickshaw? None.

Then, he calls the security guard.

“Singh, ye Sir ka Mac le jao” (Singh, take this Sir’s Mac)

A confused Singh asked me “Sir kahan le jana hai? Car parking? Bus Stop?” (Sir, where do I carry this to? To the parking? To the taxi stand?)

“Bhaiya, Auto stand jana hai”(Bhaiya, I want to go to the Auto Rickshaw stand)

Dumbstruck Singh is now confused and hopeless. I could guess he was expecting some tip for the work but I barely had any money on me to pay him. Again, this ‘auto’ thing, well, killed the last bit of hope he had.

In fact, that was almost end of the month and if I hadn’t received salary that month I would have to borrow money from my parents. You usually don’t get paid while serving your notice, you get it after the full-n-final settlement.

“Ap rehne dijiye, mai khud le jaunga” (Leave it, I’ll carry it myself), I said.

I thought it was a compact personal computer. But it was darn heavy. I was thinking all the time, “What do these guys put in this packaging? Stones?”

Then, I read the label. It said, “package weight: 11.2kgs”.

“Wow, I made the biggest and heaviest purchase ever”, I giggled.

Came to the auto stand. Tried to find a big auto where this big box could fit. None to my avail. There was a taxi nearby, Toyota Innova.

“Kesthopur, Bhaiya? Sector 2 AJ block hi sahi?”

He nodded his head, it was a “Nope”.

“Now What?”, I looked around and asked.

Auto walah suggests “Sir, ap na isko rickshaw pe le jao”. (Sir, you better carry this on a rickshaw)

Thought for a moment. I had no other choice. Laughed at the fate of this big ass mac. Not all Macs get this kind of royal treatment.

“Na Car se, na Taxi se, na Auto se, beta tu toh aj Rickshaw se jayega”

“Not Car, Not Taxi, Not even an Auto, Boy, you’re going with me on a Rickshaw today”


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