Cold Response

A few days ago, a group of four visited a popular ice cream joint in Thane (East) and asked for branded ice cream cones. No sooner had they begun relishing their cones, than it dawned on them that there was something terribly wrong with what they have been served. The cones were completely soggy. The group complained to the shop owner, whose response was lukewarm. He just said, "It’s not our fault. The manufacturer is responsible." The group tried to reason with him and requested him to return the cones to the manufacturer. But the shop owner’s attitude was apathetic and he refused to attend to them. This tepid response from the shopkeeper set off one of the four and she decided that she was not going to be taken for a ride.

She asked the shopkeeper to her the ice cream stock as she suspected that products were not fresh and had probably crossed the consumption date. After a little resistance, the shopkeeper gave in and showed her the stock. Indeed the ice creams were all more than a year old. When she showed the "Best Before" dates to the shopkeeper, he refused to own responsibility. When, after a lengthy argument, the shopkeeper was still not willing to accept the cones back, she threatened to complain to the TMC’s Food and Adulteration Department. The man didn’t budge, thinking that she was probably issuing empty threats. It turned out that the lady actually knew an official from the food department personally and called him on his cell. After she explained the situation to him, the official asked her to hand over the phone to the shopkeeper and had a brief chat with him. We don’t know what the official said to the shopkeeper, but as soon as he hung up he was a transformed man. Not only did he apologise, he accepted all the cones back and promised to clear all the old stuff from his stock. The incident only goes to show that customers are often taken for granted. But that doesn’t mean that one must tolerate unaccepted behaviour. Remember that we are what we eat. Noted writer Virginia Woolf gave so much importance to food that she once wrote, "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

So the next time you are served food that you suspect is unfit for consumption, don’t resign yet – contact the authorities in your area and ensure that such practises are stopped. In Thane, you may contact the Health Department of TMC on Tel. no. 25332686

Ingredients for Success
Faith and determination are perhaps the only ingredients necessary to succeed. Consider this: last night while taking a stroll on the streets of an upcoming residential complex in one of city’s posh localities, this writer saw six small children probably aged between four and eight years, sitting on the Their schoolbooks open in front of them, these children were trying to study under the dim streetlights.

They were kids of construction workers living in temporary tents set up near the tall, half finished building they were working on. What was touching was the dedication reflected on the faces of these who, despite minimal facilities, were making a genuine attempt to study. Some of these kids help their parents during daytime, after returning from school. When we observe such kids working hard without so much as a trace of sadness on their faces, we tends to forget or at least lessen our own sense of misery or misfortune.

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