Conversations- Absolute Best Price
Updated: Aug 5, 2020
K- Don’t feel bad.
S- I’m not feeling bad. I’m contemplating that very thin line that divides alleged Awesome Bargaining Skills from complete lunacy.
K- I’m just saying you should have asked me before buying that laptop. I could have got you a really nice one, pucca quality for the absolute best price ever.
S- 23 paisa.
S- You could have got me a laptop for 23 paisa.
S- Are you on drugs?
K- I seriously can. Company piece, full anti-virus with twelve English movie DVDs that haven’t been released abroad yet. All pucca pucca. With free bag.
S- No warranty?
K- If you want a 10-year complete warranty on everything you have to pay two paisa extra.
S- If you can do all that, you are beyond powerful and influential. You are magic. You are Harry Potter.
K- I just know the right dealers. And these dealers have godowns.
S- I know dealers who have godowns and none of them sell laptops for 23 paisa.
K- That’s where my Awesome Bargaining Skills come in. It’s my skills that kills.
S- Do these skills involve crying? Do you threaten to blow your nose on them if they don’t give you the laptop for 23 paisa?
S- You throw a tantrum. You jump up and down and say ‘Give me the laptop for 23 paisa! Give me give me give me!’
K- I do have a technique, if that’s what you want to know.
S- I do want to know. I want to know how you bring a laptop price down from several thousands of rupees to 23 paisa.
K- First I laugh in the dealer’s face when he quotes his price. I go HAHAHAHA! like the villain in a Tamil movie just before he rapes someone. When I laugh, it says to the dealer ‘That price is absurd’ and it also says ‘You better rethink that price or I will END you!!!’
S- I will end you? What are you, some kind of deadly punctuation mark?
K- Then I unleash my I Will End You !!! Look Of Extreme Fear on the dealer.
S- Is that where your mouth hangs open and it looks like you’re going to sneeze?
K- This is the look that is so powerful that if I wear sunglasses, I can be arrested for concealing dangerous weapons.
K- Why you are laughing?
K- I once gave an old woman this look by accident and she had a heart attack. S- I have seen you give that look to people. It looks like you’ve fallen asleep with your mouth open.
K- With this look, I can make an auto driver take me round and round the city twice with one unnecessary drop at Guduvancheri. Guess how much I will pay. Guess guess.
K- Two rupees.
S- I can go round and round the city four times with two unnecessary trips to Neelankarai and one unnecessary drop at Guduvancheri for one rupee.
K- I bought a Blackberry for 50 paisa and I get everything on it for free all the time forever.
S- I found a Blackberry on the road that has everything on it for free all the time forever.
K- My dental work picks up WiFi signals so every time I touch something, it becomes internet-enabled. Like if I touch a toaster. Or a plastic spoon. Or a fish.
S- You can create internet-enabled fish.
K- Did I just go too far and lose this game?
S- You were already losing at the 23 paisa laptop.
K- But I can really get you that though. Absolute best price, pucca quality. Really.
an edited version of this appeared in The New Indian Express Zeitgeist Supplement, Multiverse, Conversations, April 14, 2010