This had to be done... There aren't enough cynics around


Every time government levies a new tax, it trickles down to the consumer. All these restaurant chains gleefully accept the additional taxes from us. It is like a doctor giving a patient a disease and then treating it and getting paid for it. You see how ethical that is?

Despite its reputation as a place that serves in a plate, lettuce, half a tomato, a third of a cucumber, handful of onion, a spoonful of olives and jalapenos, a drizzle of a few sauces that chargess you twice as much as a wholesome meal in Saravana Bhavan, Subway has always been a special place. The wonderful memories of my first treat, nine people getting there in a Santro, those near midnight snacks during internship… the list is practically endless.

Most of our outings were not marred by any untoward experiences. Once when I found a bone in my chicken tikka sub, the manager came down, apologized profusely, registered our complaints and promised us that we will hear from some executive officer. Although we heard nothing from anyone, we never made it an issue or sought to sue them. We were even recognized the next time and promised someone was blamed. The Indian sense of justice that only wanted someone to take blame ensured we felt justice had been served.

But yesterday was different. You see, we often pay an additional buck for the soft drinks. If it is1 buck for a petty shop owner, you don’t make a big deal out of it. When a cosy eatery charges you 10 bucks more MRP for a drink , most of us would still ignore it as it was not ‘hip’ to question a multimillion dollar enterprise trying to prise you out of 10 bucks. Not sure if it was a sense of justice or the fact that a gentleman was being served his non-veg subs at the veg counter, I felt I had to at least seek an explanation.

In my best polite voice asked him about the MRP and the billed amount. He said it was ‘additional tax’ and they had ‘the right to charge that way here’, I stood my ground, tried to explain what MRP essentially was. Another man came forward with an ingenious explanation-it is for the AC said! Seriously so why not bill me for the IPL match being played on the TV?? New customers entered the place and I realized that I would only being obstructing service and I was never going to get a sensible explanation. I did find it out that those who we question are ignorant and apathetic and even worse, they don’t even know that.

Point being, the whole issue with being aggrieved is not about those ten bucks or the 25 for a red bull or the other ten bucks for another ‘bottled beverage’, it is what those apparently miniscule amounts stood for. Make no mistake, there is no plan on bringing subway down, or asking everyone to snub them or share this so that subway would pay me 1 cent every time you did that… Just wondering why we let this pass but find it completely fair to bargain with the old lady that sells vegetables on the roadside.

So, will I being having another sub? Yeah. Would I ever enter the Anna Nagar outlet? Hell No.