Thursday, March 31, 2011

Horrors of Shopping in Bangalore

That Saturday I had woken up in a great mood. My happy face further lighted up on seeing my bank SMS showing considerable moolah was credited into my account. I decided to pre-pone my beauty and spa appointments. From 10 till 3, I relaxed at Nainesh's (bless him - I still feel the friends to whom I have passed on his number, ought to pay me Lifetime Tax fo giving them such a great hairdresser). Then to show off my newly manicured and pedicured parts, flawless face and hair, hairless limbs, I hit upon the idea of shopping for some casual stuff.

So there I was, shopping at Bangalore Central on a weekend and instantly regretting it. In Bangalore, typically,  the weekends are when you must always avoid shopping.  Why? Because on weekends (especially Saturdays), the mall will be spilling over with many groups of people. The most common are :

1) The Local Nuclear-Family-Tourist - these are the families that live in areas like Viveknagar or such places (somehow it was ideal that we Koramangala walas felt they were beneath us) apart from other squalid areas, and come decked up in their only one glittery cheap polyester or synthetic sari or only pair of Brown striped Pants with Floral Shirts. Since they have never get the chance to mix with the 'Posh' people, they love to come on Saturdays. Usually found in threes - mother, father, child - u can hear them trying on all the perfumes on display.

2) The Softies - these are the IT people in their just-woken-up bed look/attire. Every time I pass by one of these specimens, I stop breathing. Scared that their unkempt beards and hair might be hiding crabs. Or their stubbly chins may fail to shut their mouths stinking after downing umpteen number of beers the previous night. Actually they do not have any of the nasty smells or sights mentioned here, but it is just psychological.

3) The Joint Village family - these include a whole horde of family members descending from the outer realms of Space, with no idea of 'Space'. They tow along at least five bawling, shrieking, screaming, running, over-excited scums for children who pull stranger's purses, bags, skirts, shorts, mobile pouches while their parents look on nonchalant. The leader of this group is usually a male in some Rajnikanth hairdo, introducing them to the Eighth Wonder of the World, namely the escalator.

4) The Couples - these are usually newly-weds or committed couples. Many times both of them will be from some Godforsaken little town of South India, acting like they have been born and brought up in Bangalore. They will keep looking at all the Home Stop stuff , check out the price tags stealthily and keep the items back on the shelf.  Either or both of them would have come to Bangalore wearing clothes from the previous century. The gal would have had long hair with jasmine flowers, aunty style salwar kameezes, but is now civilized and wearing capris. These couples are the ones you see going out at 8 pm to the nearest park. They have meticulously planned how to spend each rupee between them and probably save their 'Going out' money in a clay piggy bank. They carry around a cheap camera (their first experience of a digital cam) and take pics of each other eating Chinese food or a new flavor of coffee.

5) The Photo-Studios - these could be bunches of the categories mentioned above who will pose in front of shops like 'Nike, Adidas, M&S making sure that the names/entrances of these shops are included in the pcitures. They also like the special decorations that any mall puts up on Christmas, Diwali, Dussehra and take pictures in all styles and poses possible.

6) The Bubble-gum gang - these are usually groups of tweeny-boppers and teenagers chewing gum non-stop, wearing cool, posh clothes, talking in Accented English. the gals wear cute skirts and the guys wears their denim really really low. I am always tempted to run after them and pull up their jeans for fear that it will slide off anytime and I will be witness to a non-existent, puny hairy bum.

7) The Scowlers - these are serious people who have come to do some serious shopping but are just fuming at all the categories above spoiling their view of the items or disturbing them when they are battling their inner battles of whether to buy that oh-so-nice product for 6000 bucks or not.....
They finally get fed up and leave the mall, beaten. The weekend are not for them to shop.

Needless to say, I come in the last category, n everything that Nainesh did for me that Saturday, the lovely hair color n the sexy blow dry n the bangs, I ended up with a scowl on my face. Back I go, into my car, roll down the window, take a deep breath and drive towards the nearest Costa to read a book.




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