We, the people. You, the shopper.


They had red balloons and super-loud music the night of the inauguration. Not that Pune’s S.B. Road is always quiet, but being an office-office area, it is generally on the silent side. Yes it once had Pyramid and Store One, but both turned out to beΒ  too ill-fated to last long. I had been toying with a the-land-is-jinxed proposition when Pantaloons put my theory to dust.

Now a few months down the line, the green structure is well settled and much frequented. On an average evening, there are long rows of people seated outside. Quarrelling couples, fidgety children, rowdy college kids. There are more human heads to be seen out than amidst the sartorial pleasures that lie in.

So anyway, very happy about such nice clothes putting up so near my flat, I go out to say hello every once in a while. The workforce* that I meet there (or most malls I have been to for that matter) is as irritating interesting as the designer collections stocked. Let me exemplify.

“We are the security guards.”

Every day of the first week, the security guards at the entrance are models of sugar. “Namaste Sir.” “Good evening Madam.” Salaam, hello, welcome.

You go in after a fortnight and they can’t be bothered to spare you a look. We get scores of you people each day. Silly clothes-oriented minds. This colour, that fitting, humph!

“I issue baggage coupons.”

The woman who issues baggage coupons is generally accompanied with a lady-purse-checker(s). Till date I am clueless about the supposed significance of the process. Unless you’re carrying a bomb the size of a full-grown jackfruit, its chances of being discovered are negligible. They don’t inspect wallets, don’t even look in all sections for that matter. It’s a customary check madam. Don’t I have anything better to do than go through your dirty linen in public?

“We ensure you get the best piece.”

There are without fail a couple of over helpful males and females near the clothes-sections. “Yes madam?” one will say as you pick up an interesting item of clothing . The look is sometimesΒ  so accusing you impulsively put it back. We need to be around you see. What if you discreetly smuggle things into your cavernous purse?

Maybe ‘assisted shopping’ is just not my thing. As long as I am given the sizes and/or colours I like, I appreciate some space.

“I regulate trial sessions.”

When you arrive at a trial room, the hangers are removed for you. The place abounds with know-it-alls. Right from “customer andar hai madam” (there’s a customer inside) to “usme wohi ek size hai” (we only have one size for that piece), they are instant with the replies. Never mind if you remember seeing a Small or a Medium tucked up in some corner. Arrey, I am too comfy in my seat to get going anywhere. Shoo away can’t you?

“I ferret out members.”

At the billing counter, you will always meet someone who wants you to take a membership card. “Lucky draw madam?” As the man behind the machine totals up your shopping, you will be asked if you want to pay less the next time. I have decided to get this done once and for good the next time I go visiting.

Outside, a chaat wala calls out to passersby. He asks for no coupons and indulges in no niceties. I order a papdi chaat. And miss the good old bazaars and melas Daddy took me to when I was smaller.

*all that is talked about here is meant in jest and not intended to be taken seriously. Everyone at Pantaloons (and other wonderful garment stores), thank you for the amazing additions to my wardrobe. πŸ˜€

14 thoughts on “We, the people. You, the shopper.

  1. I’m ignoring the last four lines in bold πŸ˜›
    I anyways hate shopping and becomes all the more irritating with malls…
    Papadi chaat… Now you are on the right track gal.. πŸ˜€

    • Ha ha yep shopping gets a pain after a while. And I really mean that one. πŸ˜€
      Oh T, papdi chaat is paradise. Reminds me of all things mouth watering. Much better, I tell you, to splurge on chaat once in a while than get super expensive clothing which you’ll wear one solar eclipse day.

  2. I am a stereotype in this case,doesn’t take more than 10 minutes for me to pick a piece of clothing(yes, that’s what i call it, cave-man isshstyle).

    And return back to the store the next day complaining, that it doesn’t fit me anymore :D. Coming home as my mom looks at me with I-told-you-so look.

    • Cave man style… aha. Cave man reminds me of some brand I saw lately – they had outrageous designs which I am sure would have only appealed in the stone age.

      Ha ha Moms know best – it’s a proven fact. Good for you though… but you can’t expect a girl to not dwell on serious questions like what colour goes with what. πŸ˜€

      • Yes shopping with a girl for shoes or clothes is a consummate substitute for capital punishment.

        Lot of factors go into play like the alignment of stars, the luminosity of the showroom lights(which plays a huge role),compatibility with skin tone, weight and height, the attitude of the vendor(mom, why did u not buy it? Mom:Just to teach her a lesson in manners) etc…

        • “mom, why did u not buy it? Mom:Just to teach her a lesson in manners”
          Ha ha ha πŸ˜€ This has happened to me so many times. Nani and I have a hard time calming Mom down (and trying to get the nice dress I liked into my bag)

          Capital punishment? Oh come, it’s a lesson in enhanced fashion sense. πŸ˜› But no seriously, I have to agree. I have seen some expressions that add substance to what you say: the guys become display models of clothes, clips and accessories and go about with a pained looks on their faces…

  3. Rarely we find any sales personnel well aware of the goods in these outlets. Many are not interested to explain about the stuff. Worst is the long queue in the cash counters!

    • Yep, they bear such a disinterested look at times that you hesitate in even asking.
      Oh the queues are downright vexing. And then they deliberate over packaging and sealing plastic bags.
      Thanks for dropping by Sibi! πŸ™‚

  4. Couldn’t have agreed with you more. Well once I told the sales guy, “No Thank you, I am just stealing.” and he said “Sorry sir! as you wish!”

  5. ha ha ha…but its the same everywhere, not only at Pantaloons…

    – they never have the size in the design I ask or too lazy to search.
    – they never have attractive designs in the sale sections… πŸ˜‰ or probably i choose something which is not on sale !!! πŸ˜‰

    Reliance Trends had put up a sale notice like this ” Buy for 4000/- and get coupons to shop for 2000/- absolutely free”. Now, if u thought u can totally shop for 6000/-, just like me, u too are a fool like me…
    U get coupons to shop for 2000/- right….but u can utilize it only with your next bill of another 4000/- – Isnt that ridiculous ??? And nobody explains anything of this scheme, till u reach the billing counter and get ur coupons…..

    • Oh yes the sales are another story altogether. Whatever is on sale is either too drab to buy or too overpriced in the first place to be much affected with the 50% off scheme. In Pune Central they go with the latter strategy. Thankfully in Pantaloons, I have found sales are more genuine and they don’t pre-hike the prices before starting one.

      Haha such a ridiculous offer that one. What good is the coupon then I have no idea. They just serve good fodder for colourful promotion sign boards I guess.

  6. Wow! the shopping malls in your area sure have many people to assist and ensure your shopping experience is a pleasant one quite contrary to the places in my corner of the world πŸ˜›
    It was fun reading your wonderful description of your experiences at the garment store πŸ˜€

    • Really? I will spread word to lend your corner of the world some shopping assistants too. Such a help, I tell you.
      Haha glad you had fun reading – I sure had a fun time shopping. πŸ˜€

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