Going to Sarojini Nagar is always a pleasure and more so if you are a resident of Delhi and in a position to go there once in a while and for those tourists who come to Delhi, it is definitely a must see. For those who have not heard much about it, I would put it as a 'Fashion Street' of sorts, though you can get anything under the sun but getting the right product at the right price is a matter of expertise. A fortnight back, I happened to go there, obviously for shopping, and had a very unique experience, which lead to some realizations.
It was the weekend and the crowd was all over the place. From shops on the pavement to flagship stores everybody was busy convincing the customer about their product, with an aim of making an additional buck by taking advantage of the increased influx over the weekend. Suddenly there was a huge commotion and the shop keepers started shouting something at one another and within minutes the outlook of the whole area changed. The additional steel frames which was an integral part of almost all the apparel shops to hang clothes on display, disappeared and so did the ones which were on the road. The ones on the footpath went deeper inside and suddenly the streets had more space for walking. The most interesting thing was to do with the pavement shops, who for some reason, kept their belongings inside the nearest shop and stood unassociated.
As this process kept flowing in a domino fashion, the reason for this chaos emerged from the street corner and it was nothing but the civic authority evacuation van accompanied by some officials in another vehicle. I started wondering who was intelligent and who was a fool. Should we call the shop keepers who are always in a constant state of alertness to successfully avert their shop from being taken to task for illegal encroachment and the pavement sellers who are successfully able to hide their goods and pretended to be a onlooker, as intelligent ? Or should we call the authorities who had come to inspect the market and was completely unaware of these encroachments as they were not in place when they passed a particular shop, as fools ? Shortly after this incident, I learnt that this was a regular exercise and nothing unusual about it. I guess it won't be wrong to assume that a similar story exists in every city.
When it came down to this question of who is intelligent and who is a fool, I had this realization. It is we, who pay the taxes or in other words, paying the monthly salary to the authorities who are to be held accountable, who are the real fools in the whole story. Nothing against the seller who is making way for his daily bread through this market or the shopper who wants to get the best bet but if this is the reality then what is the point of having a civic system and competent authority who seems to have a blind eye to the reality.
Until one gets a more than obviously visible fake product carrying a popular brand name, at a fraction of the original's cost, WHO CARES ?????? and ironically enough, I believe, the same authorities would very well be the consumers of the products from the same shops which they would have inspected.