Friday, 31 July 2015

Reservation?


This post may be ‘off-topic’ or on topic. Depends upon how you see it.

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The word ‘Reservation’ invokes bitter-sweet memories in me.

Despite being a staunch anti-reservationist in my student life, I ceased to hate the word reservation, rather fall in love with it, only a few months after I took up my first job and moved to Kolkata.

I remember myself standing in queue at the railway reservation counter at Kolaghat since 6 am in the morning waiting for the ticket windows to open.  A man appearS from behind the window at 8 am , speaks to me at 8.04 am and tells that “Its wait-list 54”.

I withdraw in silence, disappointment written on my face. Again I will not be able to go home for Diwali.

A middle aged person quickly paces towards me, comes closer and mwhispers “Dada Reservation Chao ki? (Bro, do you want reservation?)

The word “reservation” feels sweeter than the K C Das Rasgullas.

I go closer to him to hear the work again and again from his mouth. He takes away a bunch of 100 rupee notes from me before asking me to wait at the outer gate.


I stand at the outer gate with palpitating heart. He appears after good 20 minutes, displays  a postcard size piece of paper and utters that sweet word again ‘Reservation’, adding “confirrrrrrm”.

Image Courtesy Wikimedia

I clutch the paper and keep it pressed to my chest, murmuring “Reservation… reservation”.

The word had never appeared sweeter to me before.

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I found that the word ‘Reservation’ has more uses (or misuses) that I had imagined. A few weeks later, I hear my grocer advising me, “Dada, reserve 2 Kgs of salts now. There is going to be scarcity for next few months. See all these persons have already reserved their quota with me.”

There was rumour in the town that for some reason salt is going to be in short-supply and if someone did not ‘reserve’ the quota right away, he would be risking his life. Standing in the shop there, I imagine my blood run out of the essential Sodium, chlorine and Potassium since I did not have any salt to eat. My neurons stop working (for want for sodium and potassium), and I go insane. So I quickly ‘reserve’ my quota of 5 Kgs of salt (priced higher than normal, and payment terms full in advance) and gain my sense and sensibility. I feel happy. I have reserved my quota of salt for the next one year. Reservation , the magic word saved me again.
Image Courtesy Nashikgrocery



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Cut to 2015, and I still find myself inundated with offers and advises to ‘reserve’ in advance some magical piece of gadget which usually are 'to be launched' mobile phones- Xiomi, MotoG, One plus etc. etc. , on Flipkart or Amazon. The aura around these ‘to be launched’ things is such that it makes you feel that you would be missing a once in lifetime opportunity if you do not reserve a piece for yourself immediately on their Pre-booking ‘page.


Image Courtesy NDTV


So now this thing called reservation is not limited to the railway reservation offices, but is everywhere. It’s there in the grocery store, and it’s there on my on-line shopping page.

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I do not really know if reservation is fair.

Do you have any reservations again reservation?

Image Courtesy Tribuneindia

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