Online shopping is the latest trend in Kashmir. People prefer to shop online for the heavy discounts, genuine products and ease of buying without going into the conventional haggling and bargaining that has plagued the local markets. Moving from one shop to another, shuffling things and the price tags in desperation, envisioning a monstrous scoundrel in the appearance of every salesman, has shifted the shoppers choice to other lucrative options online. The online products decorated with the heavy discount tags on leading brands have been predominantly instrumental in ubiquitous dip of sales in the traditionally renowned markets of Kashmir. The arbitrary pricing of the products by the local shopkeepers have further worsened the market scenario.
It was a cold night and Sir John, Jani, was shivering with cold. The prattle of his teeth was the only sound that could make to his ears. In the day, Jani had explored the market to buy a 'Kangri', but his attempts to buy one had failed for the exorbitant prices they were labeled with. Jani suddenly got up, grabbed his mobile and opened his newly installed shopping application, searched for a Kangri, but got 'no results'. Exasperated, Jani looked for the customer care number and dialled. After punching in few numeric key and listening to never-ending unsolicited commercial chatter, Sir john finally caught hold of a soft delicate female voice saying, 'How can I help you'. Jani, without hesitation narrated his cold night woes, wishing her to come to his rescue. I was looking for a 'Kangri', it doesn't seem to reflect in the search results. Could you help me to buy one from your shopping site. The female voice replied, pardon, what is Kaan-giri.. Sir John, trying to explain, 'Kaan', the 'kondel'.. you know the clay fire pot, 'kondli'.. entwined with delicately woven 'tuji'… willow twigs.. in which you put 'tuongal'.. coal, and then you blow out air through your inflated cheeks transformed into balloons and set it on fire. No, sorry we don't sell Kangaroo, that is not available, replied the voice at the other end. Kangaroos have to be imported from Australia and that cannot be done online through our site. Moreover, we do not trade the living things. Jani, disappointed with the reply said, Kangri is not a living being and it is found in Kashmir, not in Australia. And then, have you not gone through the history books. Have you not heard of the trade of whole Kashmir along with all the living beings, humans, animals and trees for a small price of 75 lakh nanakshahis, 12 gold coins, 6 Kashmiri shawls and a horse.
The lady, representing customer care, sensing irritation in his voice, wanted to cut the conversation short. She, in her composed voice, hiding her exasperation said, dear valuable customer, we sell things that are available and manufactured locally. The products manufactured in Kashmir are not economically viable because of the huge transit costs involved. Sir John, losing his calm now, shot back. But you sell the Kashmiri Shawls, Apples and serve half of the country with the electricity generated in Kashmir, how does a Kashmiri Kangri suddenly become non-viable. Now the conversation is stretching too far, thought the lady. She held her breath and said with all her disregard to the mannerism. Look mister, the fact is that we sell Shawls manufactured in Amritsar not in Kashmir, and your people taught us how to tag them with Kashmiri logo. We sell the Apples grown in Himachal Pradesh not in Kashmir, of course in the name of Kashmiri apples, because your people downgraded the quality of your apple for small individual benefits. And don't talk about electricity, your incorrigible habits of electricity thefts through 'hooking' forced your government to transmit it to the people who value it and DESERVE it.