I was in Jaipur last year and at a shop in Johri Bazaar I met a vibrant, charming, handsome guy, someone who looked exactly like a Shah Rukh Khan character – his mannerisms, clothes, hairstyle.
His unbelievable salesmanship made me buy much more than I had intended to. I thought that the owner of the shop was blessed to have such a salesman. We know how hard it is to close a sale, it’s a beautiful art.
When there came the point of negotiation, I tried to communicate with him but he was unable to understand what I said since my Hindi is not good. Finally, I used Google the translator app to translate from English to Hindi and showed him the text. His face immediately paled. There was fear and sorrow in his eyes, and I wondered if had I done something wrong. I had no clue what had made him so deflated.
I went to the owner of the shop, and told him that I had just wanted to negotiate, this is what I’m offering, I have just shown this to the sales guy and it has made him very sad. The owner smiled and told me, “Sir, it’s because he is unable to read and write, he is illiterate.”
I could not imagine that in 21st-century in India, a 20-something boy, a vibrant salesman at Johri Bazaar cannot read and write. I left after I made my purchases, but the whole night I was thinking about my Shah Rukh Khan of Jaipur.
When I look back, I am grateful for my ability to read and write and I hope when you are reading this, you too realize the value of literacy!
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