I am standing five feet away from an escalator in Bangalore’s swanky Garuda Mall. Watching people clamour on to the escalator. For some of them the escalator experience is new and there is apprehension – interest – smile – success in the order. For some others, there is fear all throughout. For yet others, it looks as though they were given birth to in. Taking to it as a duck takes to water.
Two techies walk by. Carrying two large books with them, that could pass for gym equipment, given their weight. ‘Red Hat’ it says. . Wearing military shorts and t-shirts screaming ‘education ruined me’ or something to that effect. Lost in their own world, oblivious of everything around them. In animated conversation.
Two oriental men. Tall. 5 o clock shadow at 10 in the morning. Well built. Handsome and speaking a strange language. An American family follows them. T-shirts. Shorts. Sneakers. Short Top. Capris. Father. Mother. Kid who runs. Kid in pram. An affro – American friend with pop corn in hand and excited about something that I can’t figure out. Smiling, laughing and cackling that would leave geese a shade jealous. A suited-booted gentleman follows. A polished, accented ‘excuse me’ and he moves ahead. His suit as unruffled as his gelled hair.
The bright as pink Kashmiri. Palestinians with distinct skin and oriental looks. Devout Muslims with beards, burqas and beads. Tech savvy youngsters with wi-fi enabled laptops jostle for space with old patched up umbrellas. Chinese food. Junk Food. Health food. Salads. More food.
Krish. Superman Returns.. Kannada movie. Pepsi. Coke. Home made chocolates. Chevrolet Aveo. Books. Magazines. Mens clothing. Womens clothing. Kids clothing. Expensive clothing. Junk clothing. On sale clothing. Perfumes. The Britts. Sun Glasses. Clear Glasses. Jewellery. The Koreans or the Japs ( I cannot place the difference). The Old couple. The baby boomers. The college romances.
The short skirts. The short tops. The short hairs. The no hairs. The in-betweens.
The bystander. The window shopper. The shopper. The payer. His prayers ! I have been here for 10 minutes now & it seems i have seen half the world ! The Malls of India have become her biggest melting pots! A great unifier of sorts