Just last week, a young, Punebased man uploaded the image of a hand-written shopping list for vegetables on LinkedIn — one of many crafted for him by his wife on a regular basis, to supplement his apparently not-so-perfect grocery shopping skills. What followed, however, was nothing Gaurav or Era Golwalkar had ever expected. Her succinct, practical and descriptive instructions, alongside little doodles of veggies, swept the imagination of the online world so effectively that the list went viral.
With the post trending at the top of Reddit India’s list on Sunday, and gaining over 10 lakh retweets on Twitter and over 30,000 shares on Facebook, the young couple residing in Balewadi has been enjoying the surprising affinity pouring in for their personal ritual, not just in India, but also from abroad.
“Since I have spent a lot of time in hostels, I am generally quite bad at ingredient shopping. I don’t really understand the difference between various lentils or leafy vegetables, and often end up paying more than the required price,” laughed 31-year-old Gaurav, who hails from Bhavnagar and is partner-promoter at an education technology company. While the duo was married in 2014, Era had to leave soon after for a stint in the US. “Even when she was there for a few years, Era often ordered vegetables online for me, or even called the vegetable vendors she was familiar with in this area,” he added.
Era, on the other hand, professed that she is rather particular when it comes to grocery shopping. “I returned from the US in January this year, but we can’t always go shopping together due to time constraints, so we divided the task between the both of us every alternate week. I made lists for him right from the beginning, but I soon realised they were not quite working,” elaborated the 29-year-old IT analyst, who hails from Indore. “So, I decided to make them easier to understand.”
Initially, Era used at least seven or eight buying parameters per vegetable, but the lists started getting much too long — the couple then decided she would just tell him the three most important parameters for each instead. And, that’s how it has been going for the last five or six months.
Gaurav initially decided to upload the list on LinkedIn to catch the attention of online grocery store brands — but it took off to an unexpected scale. Now, hordes of digital denizens, who don’t quite have the gift of being able choose the freshest produce, have been zeroing in on this pragmatic solution. A friend of Era’s in the US even sent her the list when it was forwarded to him online, asking if it was her.
“The question I’ve been asked the most by strangers online is whether I fulfil these shopping criteria now,” chuckled Gaurav, as Era nodded an amused affirmative. “The best part has been the lack of negativity or trolling about the post — everyone has taken it so positively,” Era summed up.