Recently I traveled to my home state of Kerala in South India...
I am a Malayali (a native of Kerala). For work and career purposes, I have moved out of the state but occasionally visit the state.
This time the business took me to Kochi, in central Kerala. On a Sunday, early morning, I went to Town, for a morning walk at Marine Drive, a walk way by the side of the sea.
There were a few fruit vendors near Drive at that time. I wanted to buy a Kilo of Mango.
"What is the price?", I asked the vendor.
"Rs.100 a kilo", he replied. I told him it was expensive. In other places, I can get the same for 80 a Kilo.
"How much are you going to buy?", he asked. I said I wanted to buy a Kilo.
"Why are you arguing for just 20 bucks?", he wanted to know.
I took the high road. "It is not the money. It is the principle of the thing", I replied.
"Here mango costs 100", he replied flatly. It was like 'you take it or leave it'.
I checked other vendors. Every vendor around was selling mango for 100 / Kilo.
I could have bought it from anyone, but I wanted to buy from the first vendor. For, I had taken the high road there, you see. I wanted to make amends.
I went to the first vendor and told him, "I will buy from you. Give me one kilo"
"I won't sell mango to you", he came up with a surprising answer. Now it was his turn to take the high ground.
I tried to explain. "Boss, I am the customer, I have the money, you are here to sell stuff. If anyone has to feel ashamed, it is me. I had rejected you and now I am back here to buy from you"
No effect. He did not sell me the mango.
Who is right? Who is wrong? Is it only Malayalees? Who knows?