One day, back from the market, as I took medicines out of a printed envelope that the chemist had given , and nearly crumpled it before consigning to the dustbin , the words “Get Well soon !” printed along with the name and address of the shop caught my fancy . The three words are uttered umpteen times as a sincere wish for an ailing friend or an indisposed relative or for simply an acquaintance , but to find them on the envelop from a chemist was no less gratifying. One cannot doubt this sincere wish from the chemist either , though it is his business to sell medicines.
Hardcore businessmen however go a step further to survive in the competition-ridden business world. During the times when it was impossible to imagine life in Shimla without coal – soft or steam variety- for cooking and heating purposes, The Coal company or the local dealer, of whom my father was a regular customer, every year used to give us a complimentary new year Calendar on which, along with other details about the company was printed a sentence “ All that is black is not coal “, a parody or extension of the famous saying “ All that glitters is not Gold “ , which was appropriate enough to convey the desired message.
Outside a dhaba in some place, I have seen the picture of a Cock - plume and all – with the caption “ Find me everywhere but eat me at …………” much to the abhorrence of my vegetarian sensitivities. Similarly I have seen the picture of s goat –only neck upwards – outside a meat shop.
There are some warning type or cautionary platitudes, resorted to by some tactless shopkeepers like “ udhar mohabbat ki kainchi hai “ & “ Udhar maang kar sharminda na hon “ when a simple “ terms cash “ would have sufficed.
However, the business goes on as ever.