SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The UberMall versus the CornerGrocer

This post sounds like a Boxing match between two teams, or perhaps WWF wrestling contestants. If there was a match the UberMall could win for sheer glamour factor, but I will hand over my personal  prize to CornerGrocer!

The other day I was to make Sabudana Vadi and as I had no sabudana at home and I could not delay getting it, for you know how you need to soak it over night, I walked down to a local Mall to get it.
In spite of walking through the aisles and searching for it, I could not find it. The place somehow looked as if it badly needed some cleaning and the staff were busy watching a cricket match, quite impervious to us customers. I know that this was not their usual operational style and was a little puzzled, only to realise that the owner was not sitting at his usual place that day.

I had to buy the Sabudana, so I walked to another local grocer shop just a few metres away and asked for Sabudana. I was greeted with a bombastic smile and a spiel that blasted my ears for 2 minutes. He extolled the goodness of his sabudana, that it was different and better, and that I had to just try it and see. Then he weighed it carefully in front of my eyes and double checked because I asked him whether the weight was accurate. Wrapped the sabudana in newspaper and gave it to me with the change.

So tell me where should I go now? Who is the winner in your eyes. By all standards, hands down, the CornerGrocer!

This is not the first time I have felt this, many times when I dont feel like going into the big shops and I step into a smaller grocer shop, the difference in attitude and customer relations hits me. They make you feel wanted, they ask for your opinion and give theirs freely. Never have I stepped out of such places without a smile and perhaps an extra item in my bag which is different and unique that I have not tried before.

I agree the variety in a Ubermall is mind blowing, but the warmth and connectedness in the small grocer's shop is so very charming. Hopefully this tribe will not fade like our beloved tigers, unable to face the cut throat sharky competition of the Uber Malls.

(Plus wrapping stuff in newspaper is so much more eco friendly, why is it disappearing??)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Are you looking for Happiness?

How simple this sounds!

If you wish to be happier, be humble says Gary Zukav, (yes, he is the one who wrote the best seller, "Dancing Wu Li Masters", a book that interprets Quantum Physics in all its metaphysical ways!!)

I came across this book DWLM ( Hmmm...I am a true Indian with a penchant for acronyms), when I was studying and then later once more on my husbands book shelf.

It is a tough read, as the technical aspects of Quantum physics went way over my head, and so I cannot imagine the same person has authored such an article or has gone on to form an organisation that goes by the name : Seat of the Soul Institute.

But you must read this article: is it possible to practice, Humbleness, Forgiveness, Love and Clarity?

I understand what he says but becoming such a transcendental soul is soooo difficult.

Tell me what you think

Sunday, March 9, 2014

February Tales

February has been a month of Tales.

The most wonderful of them all was "The Kite Flyer of Beijing", created by John McCormick and his sons William and Connor. There is another story here...!

I was to tell a story at the Chennai Storytelling Festival and decided it would be this beautiful story about an old Chinese man and his reluctance to let go of his life, he then takes the form of a kite and finally decides to go...
It came to me at a time when I was looking for solace after my mother's death. Yet there was a clause that asked me to contact the author if I wanted to use the story in any way. I did (after some prodding from a friend) and the rest is his-story!!
John not only gave me permission but also wrote about our email exchanges in his column on Huffington Post. Truly a Grace from above...
You can read it here:

He also blogged about it on his website:

I have more tales to tell for February is the month of Love and the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia during this month when maidens and men were encouraged to look for partners.
At BSS (Bangalore Storytelling Society), our monthly meet up was all about sharing the mushy and non-mushy tales of love.
We had a story about obsessive love and the stalker's perspective of his love.
Story of a Beautiful Cockroach (Martina the Beautiful Cockroach)
Story of the False Collar by Hans Christian Anderson
some Khalil Gibran (love without Gibran?...never!)
and more folklore from Punjab, famous land of love stories right from Heer-Rhanja to Sohni-Mahiwal.

As one storyteller pointed out Obsession and Detachment are two sides of the spectrum, Love falls in the middle...Wah Wah..subbah nallah!!

Happy Telling Folks

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