Now, pushing around isn’t something that comes naturally to me. But, it is some fantasy that i have, that i will be able to push people around at home, as well. And this shopping cart is as close i have get to. So, you see, i look forward to the trip to this place.
This cart is ‘beefy’. That’s an adjective, i am told of recent origin, to describe a muscular object. So, John Abraham in Dostana is said to appear ‘beefy’. Coming back to this cart, there are other things that i like.
The combination and mix is neat. There is just about enough steel, and there is a muscular plastic. With some real sturdy wheels. Wheels that carry consumerist India’s weight for the well heeled. Or perhaps, the well wheeled !
And then there is this smooth flow of the cart on the tiled floor. Just as you push your choices around ! The noise, the smooth screech when you deftly navigate the stacks of brands is so invigorating !
But the ‘icing on the cake’…or ‘cherry on the pie’ or ‘lubricant in the engine’, are these: There are no doors to open. No keys to insert. No belts to wear. And no permissions to seek. No lights to stop at. No honks to listen to. No ‘one ways’. No potholes. No police man. If this is not freedom, what is ?!
With this happiness coursing my veins, i look at my fresh set of wheels today. With a heady rush, i start off. I push around with gay abandon. Taking sharp turns and making screeching halts. Throwing in an odd packet or two into the cart. (Lewis Hamilton may like it, but i particularly don’t like undue attention you see).
The only squeal i hear occasionally, is of the missus. With a look of disdain and disapproving disappointment, she seems to have disowned me. And stands afar, like another shopper. And when nobody looks, makes these sweeping gestures imploring, requesting, ordering, threatening etc, asking me to stop right there. Today, a rare, new found courage keeps me going.
Suddenly, an empty stretch. There are stacks of cookies on either side. And a 20 meter freeway straight ahead. I mentally rev and go for it. At the end of the ‘freeway’ i take a blind turn. Suddenly, right before me, appears a beautiful lady. With her cart. We almost collide into each other. With instincts that would qualify me to compete with a Video game specialist, we stop. Our carts, separated by fifty percent of a quarter of an inch.
She smiles an impish smile. I smile too. There are a thousand butterflies that fly. In all these decades of driving on the road, no woman, has smiled at me when i was at the wheel. Not one. (From the outside that is. For purposes of calculation, a smile from the seat beside, is …well..disqualified).
My love for my cart and this hyper market shoots through the roof.
She is panting as well. I realise. Before your imagination goes haywire, i must hasten to add that the panting is because she has been wheeling around. Just like me. And then, with a smile, she says, ‘ I have to entertain my son you see. He likes these rides’.
Ah. Explanation..but where is the son ? She points to the cart. And in a jiffy i see him. Seated right inside that beefy cart. My smile has a greater impish quotient. She has a ‘son-in-the- trolley’ as a reason. And i have three packets of potato wafers. I rankle my brain for a smart one liner. Or two liner. Or whatever. And the boy starts crying. Off she goes.
Some time later, i am billing those small quantities. The cashier seems to give me an odd look. Perhaps he is thinking, ‘so much of wheeling for this scrap’ ! I couldn’t care. And then, i spot the lady. Billing in the next lane.
And right behind me, i hear a voice. A gruff beefy voice. “Why do people think of these shopping carts as military armoured cars ? Is this a Humvee, huh ?!” I don’t turn my head. With a innocence plastered arrogance, i assume that that comment was for that lovely lady. And anybody who heard. Not me.
I look at the lady from corner of my eye. And i see her looking ( glaring) in my direction. And then discover, that glare is not at me. I think that the glare was reserved for the gruff voice. That proved it. That comment was for the lady.
Coming home, i look up Humvee and discover that it stands for “High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle”.
Of course. Of course. Of course. It is high mobility. And serves many many purposes. I want to confront this dude with the gruff voice.
I sure will return to this store. And to my Humvee ! Only to give that gruff voice the right perspective. Nothing else.
( Disclaimer : I hold no shares, share no interest, and the only place that i visit every week is my in-laws and the local temple. Not this place. So.)
This post is dedicated to my experience outside a trial room (Room for trying out clothes.Not a court room) at Bangalore’s ‘Brand Factory’ outlet. S went in with two sets in her hands. We reached the trial room corner for women and there were four partitions to make rooms in a line.
And as we waited for her time, i looked at the motley crowd that was present outside the trial rooms. Well, as their wives, daughters, sisters were inside the rooms, the support group held all belongings (handbags, children, footwear etc) besides a few more new clothes to try.
Once in five minutes, a door would open, and someone in the crowd would step upto the room, give comments on the new stuff that the lady was trying and help her choose. And in one particular case, give her water, and other refreshments.
It almost resembled a pit stop for a formula one driver. Well, the speed at which credit cards were swiped it would have any which way given serious competition to a F 1 driver! After sometime, my time came too. And i took my exalted place among a few other ‘gentlemen’ & a young girl, carrying the usual stuff. They were there for some time. It showed.
S finished trying and i made the standard routine of offering comments on the clothes and we chose quickly. We too used our credit card !
And after about 30 minutes after we were there at the trail room, we were walking out. Which is when i looked at the trial rooms, for some reason. And there they were. All of them.
The gentlemen and the young girl ! This time, the young girl had squatted on the floor ! Awaiting the next turn to give expert comments. Bags, baggage et al. While the other trial went on inside !
There is no end to how much you can buy ! Or Try !
Today i go back to Dylan.
” People are crazy and times are strange
I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
I used to care, but things have changed..”
The Ground Floor on Garuda Mall has space enough for promotions to happen. And usually it is one or the other marketer exhorting the general public to buy that life insurance, try that make up, ride that car, eat that snack and so on. This week there was considerable excitement. As ‘Pioneer’ was promoting its audio players, speakers etc.
As we meandered, there was enough noise and four floors of packed audience with balcony view, shouting, hooting and having a great time. We followed our ‘natural instincts’ to see what was happening.
It was a contest for couples. The rule was that couples needed to dance “on & within” a strip of paper. The size of paper keeps getting halved. So you found rather inventive couples, trying hard to fit into a small sheet of paper which later became a strip of paper. Some atop each other’s legs. Feet. Backs. What not.
The prize : A Pioneer DVD player worth Rs.5000/-.
The size of the paper was inversely proportional to the enthusiasm and energy of the crowd (and the participants too). It was an interesting experience to me. Just to see the crowds cheer and the participants glow. And the range of energy that was created.
The participants seemed to care two hoots to any possible ‘protect-my-culture’ activist as they hugged, carried, danced etc in the middle of a shopping mall. And had a great time doing it all. So did the crowds.
On the one one side, we have a judge arresting somebody for a peck on the cheek. Ok, a slightly longish one at that. But, on the other side we have a society which is moving beyond to a new realm. Looking at. Learning from. Yearning for. Something that is far different. A new pattern is indeed emerging.
What was inconceivable a few years back is common place now. The choices that the marketed nation is making, is more of “doing my own thing”.
Well, well, well, it was indeed a Pioneering evening for me. One that brought me face to face with a new mindset, that i always knew existed.
In the shopping mall ? Well that was a surprise !
Todays song Ironic by Alanis Morisette represents my thoughts !