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The ubiquitous traffic junction is the new sweet spot for the high society to drive a hard bargain

e are all at crossroads, literally and figuratively. More so while having to shop for stuff at crossroads at traffic junctions. From tissue boxes to mosquito swatters to clapping monkeys, it can be anything. But the latest attractions are mobile extension-like screen enlargers.
These contraptions are magnifying glasses, plain and rectangular, stuck to a mobile and it literally enlarges images and text. I observed it at the Jubilee Hills check post recently when six dealers steered through busy traffic to sell these gadgets. Within minutes, people haggled and even bought them. It was amusing to watch shopping happening between a red and a green light.
In case you drive around Necklace road or busy areas like Ameerpet, there are roadside fairs and stalls constantly attracting passers-by. They sell flowers, fruits, toys or car accessories but the point is that they sell and we buy. We usually see bike-riders with women as pillion riders pausing and packing stuff into their bags. While the husband awaits green, no one to put a red signal to this veteran shopper.
Drive past the Old City and you may get anything from fresh cut fruit in a Styrofoam cup with a toothpick to kids’ nightwear. An average red light is for about three minutes. We can see, bargain and decide to pull out cash and even get past the place without others honking at us- all within the few minutes. Isn’t that amazing? We in Hyderabad do it with élan. We go home triumphantly with a five- tissue box set for a hundred rupees and feel on top of the world. Can Quick Gun Murugan from Chennai do that? Can Mrs Sen try out something insane like this in Kolkata?

Swapna Sundari
—  The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)

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