Picture this - You are roaming around in a mall..In and out the overpriced showrooms... Shelf shopping through the Mens section..
Shelf shopping coz you are still in the last year of college and cant afford this stuff... You are going through the different types of shirts and jeans that are on the shelf..Denims are in, six pockets are out, or capris are they called?
And whats with the commando prints? What guy in the right state of mind would wear something like that.?! Just then a middleaged uncle with a paunch to show for walks by you wearing the same commando shirt.. Hmm... thts the kind of guy!!
You are browsing through the casuals section, then on to the Formals, then accessories and then you stand at the entrance of that section of the mall where thou haventh venturedth yetth - The ladies section.. You dare not enter.. There are women all around and there are clothes, all girlie clothes and there are a few men giving company to their respective ladies.. every third guy has a baby balanced precariously on his right arm..
You look at those men.. You knell down..God.. Please dont let me one of those men.. Please dont ever make me enter this section..ever..
Then you see men at the payment counter.. Paying for the shopping escapades of their girlfriends, wives or sisters..
You think to yourself, what kinda sucker buys from stores this overpriced!! These men into high paying jobs, loaded with money, pushing consumerism to the limit.. You think to yourself, When I start earning, I will not spend in such overpriced stores..
You see a guy with 3 bags at the counter.. He has a lady with him, shes going through the dresses in the bag... Theres a smile on her face which refuses to quit..
You look at the guy...You cant help feeling sorry for the guy.
He swipes his credit card.. turns back and looks at you looking at him.. and smiles..
One year hence, you have a job.. Amongst design software and hard core Engineering there is no time for shelf shopping.. You have decent salary and your bank account has started to smile..
The sister has to pursue a professional course and needs a few new dresses.. Now the sister does believe in my taste when it comes to apparel, this is one the very few things she gives me credit for..
So she decides to punch my smiling bank account in the face.. she took(read dragged) me to the costliest showroom in this part of the world..
We entered the mall.. We passed through the Mens section, casual wear then formal wear.. We were getting closer, then came the accessories section.. There I was standing at entrance of the section where men had their salaries drained... hours spent... credit cards maxed..
While I had a grave look on my face calculating how much this was gonna cost me, the sister was as excited as a kid in a amusement park!!
So wht are you looking for?
What? You are getting into a Professional college.. You think theres gonna be time for parties?!
I just want this one dress..
For the rest of the formal ones we will come back again..
My eyes started searching for discounts.. Where were all the discounts when you needed them?
I saw some % sign at a distance.. I was pulled by its magnetic presence to its direction.. 40% discount.. Cool.. Just what I needed.. Checked out some tops there.. Rs.1940.. Hmm.. 40% off on 1940, that is..er.. A pretty salesgirl stood there smiling..
"Sir, that is the discounted price.."
I lost my love for arithmetic after that.. I just stood there looking at salesgirl for 1 minute, then at the top for another minute, then looking at her again for one minute.. then she got bored of the routine and left..
The sister by that time had found 3 dresses she liked..She handed me the three dresses to hold while she shopped for more..
I thought u didnt like green..
Oh I meant emerald green.. this is bottle green..
The sister was getting deeper and deeper into the section. You see, the ladies section is pretty much like a city. On the outskirts of the city you get cheap (relatively) real estate.. But as you move deeper into the city, the real estate prices shoot up.. Similarly, the cost of apparels increases as you keep going deeper and deeper.. Then we arrived at the "core" area.. The Nariman point of the ladies section.. This section is usually occupied by 30 somethings businesswomen or iit-iim grads who earn enough to make grown men cry!
An hour later we had found around 5-6 dresses (some of which were from the "core" area) which she had to try on..I had three tops on my left hand, a maroon, peach and a black number.. On the right hand had I had a green, er I mean bottle green top, a pink one and a off-white one..
Then came the trying on the dresses.. You are allowed only 2 dresses inside the changing room...Here comes my part in the evening...the brother has to stand out with the rest of the 4 dresses and has to approve of the dresses he finds classy enough for his sister to wear..
So I am standing there outside the ladies changing room.. And getting those stares you get when you accidentally board a female compartment in the local train..!
I take this opportunity to go through the price tags.. All 4 digit price tags all of a sudden seemed less classy to me :P And yes, that included even the ones with "cheeky" prices like Rs.995.. I
mean even a 5th grader knows that trick..
After a gruesome half an hr of trying on the dresses, we zeroed in on one black number which I can safely say was the classiest of all dresses we had chosen..
Half an hour of alterations on the dress and we were ready to move on to the payment counter..
As the sister was busy adoring her dress, I was shelling out a few big Mahatmas..
I looked around I saw some college students looking at me.. Giving me that look, the look that I thought I had invented..
And I looked at the sister.. Still adoring her dress.. A smile adoring her face.. All grownup she was, all of 18 years, but I still see her as an 8 yr old who needs me to fetch things for her.. And all those mahatmas be damned, I would give them away for that smile.. And those college guys will know only when their sisters ask them to buy a dress for her... They will realise that its all worth it..
I swiped my credit card.. turned back and looked at the college guys looking at me.. and smiled..
That Story.. Shopping in the Ladies section...
Editor in chief arshat chaudharyCurrent Issues: engineering, mahatma, mulund, nirmal lifestyle