The Mall Mauls

A 20 minute stay in the mall nearest to my house (and one of the biggest in the city) during the not-so-peak hours reveals how people are accepting the Mall culture. (Also, How I am going about accepting the same.)

Curiosity brings them here. The Advertisement and Marketing department of the respective brand takes care of the rest. Lets talk about the first point, Curiosity.

A few examples here could be a better way to explain this.

A man carries his 5 year old son on his shoulders, gets him an ice-cream cone (From McDonalds) and walks towards the outer boundary of the building and sits there. He has just come out of the mall and he has one rapidly melting ice-cream cone to show for his shopping. In his shirt pocket, he carries the brochure of the Nokia N-Series phone. In the rare moments that the son fails to get his papa’s attention, the papa is busy staring, with wide eyes, the crowd that the mammoth building keeps churning inside.

During almost every visit to the mall, I need to use the escalator. And everytime I see someone struggle trying to use it. They are afraid of putting their feet on this moving carpet of metal. They are overwhelmed by the brands that surround them, all of a sudden, but they keep coming in thousands.

They are afraid but they are curious too. It’s like learning to swim. Because they like it when they survive those little anxious moments.

So this is the face of the changing India. The Big-town and The Small-town India coming to terms with the Great Mall Culture.

Once they get in, the advertisements take control. Have you noticed how every single minute you spend on the street is full of advertisements? Lets go back to the Mall for a moment here. I see a giant Shahrukh Khan asking me to have a Cola. On a huge billboard, a woman tells me to buy this particular brand of Jeans. You can’t just miss the woman, such is the attention her figure demands. You know, I think it’s funny how nowadays they manage to advertise about clothes without letting the models who advertise for it, wear any.

Then, there are on-the-spot saloon-style-haircuts from a shampoo company. One malt product company (no, not beer) wants you to try their new offering in ice-cold milk. A few stalls ahead, a mobile phone, for just Rs.22,000. Just? They would have laughed if a decade back someone had even suggested the idea of selling a phone for this amount. And even if they all got convinced about it, no one would have believed that people would actually buy it. But people are buying it you know.

They take personal loans to buy a phone nowadays.

The feeling I get in the 20 minutes I manage to stay in this very stressful place is that everyone wants my money. Everyone. They want me to come, open my wallet and spend some cash or swipe the plastic. But if I agree to the job, they’ll take everything.

So, I’m backing out.

4 thoughts on “The Mall Mauls

  1. The dynamo of our economic system is self-interest which may range from mere petty greed to admirable types of self-expression.

  2. Wise decision, I am sure. By the way, I still would laugh if someone told me they would buy a phone for 22K. But then, that is me and I know the world around me is changing much faster than I am able to cope with.

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