How much do you save on tea?

Garbage served to employees in the name of coffee and cost efficiency. How much do companies really save by serving machine made flavourless stuff? When you add back the social costs, the time lost in going to the tupri to get a cutting, the loss due to dissatistfaction one feels after drinking this, the sense of disloyalty that enters the mind when a company where you slog for 8 hours can’t even offer you one good cup of tea or two, what is really saved in costs? Not much. But what you can’t see you don’t bother about. What you can see is, an extremely cheap cup of coffee. That’s saving cash. And it does not matter that it’s destroying value.

Hot meals for 30 bucks!

Dal, chawal, 5 puris, two sabzi, salad,only for Rs 30. The food is served between 12 to 3 pm daily. Typically 60-70 folks eat at this make shift joint every day. A majority of those who walk in are a regular crowd. But some stop by because they are hungry. The owner cooks the food at home nearby and brings it in the steel containers. Apart from this work, he does nothing.

What’s the fixed cost? Nothing, except 200 bucks of peace money to be paid every day. Rest all is variable cost. Net cash saved is Rs 400-500 daily. Mumbai has food for everyone, almost. Here for 30 bucks you get a ‘pet bharke wala khana’ or a meal that can fill your stomach properly. And at some places a simple vada pav costs you 15 bucks!

Mumbai is dotted with these kind of eateries, with people hunched over, eating their meals. There was another joint next to this one. But it did not have that crowd. I asked one person, why did he stop here? He said, ‘I saw people eating here, so stopped’. Question of hygiene is not to be asked in such places, as long as it’s reasonably clean and decent.

So many times one sees people in restaurants eat alone on a table. Here people eat alone too, with strangers. ‘Khao aur niklo’ or do your eating and leave.  But at least there is physical company because one is sitting together.  And after a while, the folks get to know the owner. So it’s not that impersonal. In that sense, there is a sort of kindness from the universe towards those eating at such places. To be able to get hot meals served to you at low prices and more important – of not having to eat alone.

Learn to give it back!

Being nice is hygiene. But being nice is not a synonym for being a doormat. It’s ok to take your tongue out for a good word lashing on someone, when someone crosses that line.  Don’t fear. Use that fantastic piece of equipment ferociously when needed.  Don’t think – let it go. NO.

Every time a line is crossed with you, and you don’t respond appropriately, you are raising the threshold level higher for people to do what they want. And you won’t even know it.

Disrespect and abuse is sometimes very very insidious and you won’t even know it’s happening to you. So you need to force yourself to respond and defend the self every time that line is crossed. It’s an important act to keep your self esteem high.

Love your abuser?

You can love someone who tortures you. There is no control over who you love. But you can be away from those who torture you. That you can control. And as torturous as that can be, to be away from the one you love, it would be more damaging to you to be with him or her.

Take that step to walk away. It might take time to disconnect or disengage. But your spirit will be intact. And you will not have a problem looking in the mirror.

Sometimes even feeling crappy is OK. As long as you get to have moments of unbruised love with the person you are in love with. You feel, those moments will tide you through life. You know what they will. But do you want to? And should you? Should you not want to feel no pain and just be happy?

Google the web and see how many many women live alone, yet lead happy lives. It’s very possible and OK to be alone. You need to get the idea straight. A man who beats you and torments you does not love you. So why would you want to be with someone like that?

You can’t fix someone else’s mess.

No matter how hard you try, you cannot fix or solve other people’s problems. Many in toxic relationships, keep hoping against hope that things will change. But they won’t. Don’t waste your life, trying to fix someone else’s destiny. That’s not your job.

This said, if you have the strength and inclination, be there for them. Be there to listen, or give support when necessary. But don’t make the woman feel guilty about staying in an abusive situation even when she has repeatedly told you she wants to leave him.

Sometimes it gets tiring to listen to the same story again and again. But that’s the best you can do. And hope, sense prevails.