I am at a trinket shop in Udaipur looking for souvenirs to buy for family and friends back home in Mumbai. When I see a some quirky earrings in the shape of various animals and birds — elephants, dolphins, peacocks, butterflies, swans, deer, etc. — I decide to buy some of them for my niece.
As I set aside the ones I want to buy, I ask the shopkeeper, “Do you have camel earrings?”
“Look at these elephant ones, Madam. They will bring good luck and strength. These birds are so delicate, they will look beautiful. And the deer earrings, they are unique, Madam. Nowhere else will you find them in Udaipur. And this butterfly ones…
“I am buying a pair of all these. But I would also like to buy a pair of camel earrings. Do you have them?” I ask again.
“Um… yes,” he says, pulling out a pair from under the counter. “Why do you want to buy camel earrings anyway?”
“Because I like camels,” I say.
“You like camels?” the shopkeeper asks incredulously. “They are smelly, stubborn, and quite ugly. What is there to like in camels?”
“Oh there is plenty to like. You see, there is something about camels,” I smile.
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