Living in an Indian household, folk knowledge is often easily substituted for what is considered “western logic.” Often times exorbitant price tags are seen offensively in Indian society, as overcharging needlessly is a sign of greed and lack of integrity. This conversation happened between the informant, D, and his grandma, G when they were watching Indian soaps and an Audi advertisement popped up.
Advertisement: we have 12 airbags, safety controls, safety sensors, and safety parking assistance… [translated to English]
D: What’s so funny, G?
G: We have Durga Ma and Babaji on the dashboard, Hanuman Ji on the rearview mirror, Nimbu Mirch on bumper, and Maa di Lal Chunni around the rearview mirror… Don’t worry about our safety… tu price kam kar
The interviewer laughed after G’s final statement. The ease with which G was able to scoff at the safety mechanisms Audi incorporated in their vehicles truly shows the disconnect between Western and Eastern ideals of wealth and necessities. Audi believes that they are selling Indians on the message of increased safety to justify the higher expenses on their vehicles but just the opposite is true – Indians just need Durga Ma, Babaji, Hanuman Ji, etc (religious figurines) to feel safe. What they would rather see Audi do is worry about their exorbitant prices (“tu price kam kar” = work on your pricing).