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Monday, September 22, 2014

Retail Therapy

 



Shopping is rejuvenating, therapeutic as well as fun! Even if one is not inclined to spend much, just window shopping can give one some kicks, besides, the rush of adrenalin to be accosted by the very sight of adorable niceties! With the festive season about to commence, the traders are getting geared up for a long spell of sales, discounts to push their sales graphs!

During the times in school we looked forward to this period with most eagerness knowing that the annual sale at Khadi Bhandar would commence from 2nd Oct and we would rush to buy the shirts, kurtas and other things! Also, the local markets and some upmarket areas in Delhi like NDSE, pitched sales for the jeans costing as low as Rs 15/- each, which may sound as if I belong to the age of dinosaurs! I remember once having saved my pocket money to take my brothers for purchase of cloth for stitching shirts! It would be fun to visit places like Karol Bagh, Connaught Place and Chandni Chowk to return with a feeling of bewilderment!


After landing in the job, I had to travel to destinations within the country and was exposed to see places like Crawford Market, Linking Road, Flora Fountain in Mumbai. There would be no place to walk and one had to jostle to move around in Akbarallys at Flora fountain! While in Pune, Sadashiv Peth, Rani Laxmi Bai Road and Deccan Gymkhana were favorite haunts! It felt great to see these places after having seen only the MG Road and Ghantaghar in small towns of UP !

The love for window and minimal shopping continued while visiting Brigade Road, MG Road and KG Circle in Bangalore, Anna Salai and T Nagar in Chennai, Hazrat Ganj and Aminabad in Lucknow! The locals called it ‘Ganjing’! The smells of local foods and sweet shops would set the hunger pangs on fire! I remember always overeating my share of Idlis and Dosa in South and Chaat in Lucknow, Bhelpuri and Pavbhaji in Mumbai even if I went for a shopping worth just Rs50/-

When I got an opportunity to see the world, Downtown Manhattan, SoHo, Chinatown in New York worked like a magnet, with unbelievable array of goods! Faneuil Hall and Copley Place in Boston were difficult to resist! The unbelievable discounts at Macys would leave my already stretched resources to a rock bottom by the end of the day!

Khan El Khalili is a bigger version of Chandni Chowk in Cairo and the sight of freshly made Khobz( local bread) goes for miles! Bukit Bintag in Kulalumpur , Mustafa in Singapore, and Pratunam and Siam Centre are infectious and best avoided if one does want to feel like a pauper by the end of the day! Exotic tropical fruits in Male in Maldives and Seychelles are feast of eyes and one is tempted to buy even if it is difficult to carry them! Huge piles of dry fruits and sight of fresh preparation of  Falafel compete hard to draw the attention of tourists in busy Caramel Market in TelAviv.
Just for window gazing and having coffee, there is no place better than Galeries Lafaytte and Champs Elysee in Paris! If you are lucky, you may even end up watching a fashion show for free at Galeries Lafayette during promotions of new beauty ranges and dresses! The world is a market and the show goes on forever, can best be experienced at La Boqueria in Barcelona crammed with local foods, Harrods in London for the priciest branded items, Queen Victoria Market( lovingly called Vic market) in Melbourne and Victoria building in Sydney , eye popping crystals in streets of Prague, Luxury brands and watch stores in Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, glittering Gold Souk in Deira in Dubai, fragrance of Tulips in Amsterdam, and many more!

Floating Markets in Bangkok, midnight bazaar, weekend bazaar and unbelievable crowds at the odd hour give a feeling of how much to buy and how little we have in our pocket! Mongkok and Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong, Odel and House of Fashion in Colombo  are places that must be avoided if you are in company of your wife or children else, even the biggest dollar note in the pocket will vanish before you realize what struck you.

There is only one problem during family shopping that the man ends up standing in a corner after a while carrying his wife’s purse and a wailing child while she is busy in selection!

The last word comes from the sex siren Bo Derek who once said’ Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping.'

34 comments:

  1. So true!
    Yesterday, I didn't even go for shopping, just a visit to the Mall & I ended up spending enough just on food that would have bought me a decent item from the Mall!
    Sometimes, a shopaholic goes for window-shopping & buys as she/he can't resist buying!
    The last quote is bang on!

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  2. Loved the last words. These days I prefer to shop online or in the shops nearby. I do love window shopping though :).

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    1. Shopping on line is the new phenomena that is catching on and can save time and offer better discounts but one may miss the thrill of seeing all the glitter, Rachna:)

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  3. I liked reading about the various shopping havens--you are truly qualified to write about this topic.
    Iam nostalgic about the shops in Connaought Circus,Shankar Market and Karol Bagh.Every place has it's own distinct charm.

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    1. A big thanks Induji, but believe me, there are people far more qualified than me! I just mentioned a few places that I was lucky to see! I too have very fond memories of CP, Shankar Market, Janpath, Karol Bagh and now Lajpat Nagar and Sarojini Nagar added to the list:)

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  4. Oh, I love the energy of open air markets - the buzz, the excitement, the colourful wares, the intense haggling!

    Btw, The Queen Victoria Market is in Melbourne :-)

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    1. So true Purba, that energy that flows in open air markets is unmatched. I forgot that a reader in Brisbane knows Australia far better. So, I stand corrected, Queen Victoria Market called Vic market is in Melbourne, but Queen Victoria building in Sydney at George Street in Sydney houses some lovely stores, was what I was referring to. BTW have seen both:)So thanks for reading and pointing the error!

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  5. I am hardly a shopper....Once ,while in London.I picked some clothes for my children from C&A in Oxford Street...After reaching home,realized those were made in India

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    1. Ha ha... happens, as I could find a lot of apparel Madein India/ Sri Lanka in US stores:)

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  6. Coming from a man....this makes me insanely happy.
    I want to go shopping suddenly!

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    1. It gives me bigger delight to see a reader happy:) Thank you, Red!

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  7. 15 bucks for a pair of jeans and again, you have traveled so much. I agree with the quote in the end.

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    1. Ha ha ....Saru, yes a pair of jeans at that ridiculous price on sale in posh NDSE market not so long ago:)

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  8. Today I did a homework for my Spanish class about purchases. But mine was about overconsumption!

    And beautiful Russian dolls. I saw one day in the mall but it was very expensive ):

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    1. Thanks Camila for reading! I am sure you can buy the doll soon:)

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  9. You are lucky to experience shopping in nook and corner of the world, The place definitely bring character to shopping and each place is so different! I loved shopping when I was younger but now hit a button on my computer and it is in a way equally exciting!

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    1. Thanks Padmaja, and I am grateful to god to have given me an opportunity to see a bit:) BTW , I am more a window shopper!

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  10. Haha. I'm not a big shopper -- but when I'm in the right mood I do love a good store.

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    1. Thanks Agnes! I too... do not shop that often:)

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  11. A shopping post from a man!! Wow! And you have shopped the world over... simply cool!

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    1. Thanks a lot, Shilpa! I have always admired shopping though I do not really indulge in it as much:)

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  12. Wow! You have been to so many shopping streets across globe. Great post and informative!

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    1. Thank you Jeevan! I have been fortunate to see some places:)

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  13. why dont you tell us more about shopping strees.in detail...one city in one post:)

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    1. Thank you, Renu! That is a good idea! Will try to remember the details now and write another post:)

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  14. I just placed and ordered for few tunics and logged into blogger account. And then I read this post.............WOW..:D
    the last quote is amazing...:P :P :P :P
    you are right Rahul Sir, Shopping does bring joy- may b temporary but it's worth it..:D

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    1. Thanks Monica! The post coincided with a shopping spree at your end:)

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  15. I was surprised that you know many shopping places in the world. My husband never come to the shopping place with me like you say. He doesn't like to wait and to shop.
    Have a nice day!

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    1. Thank you Sarah! Am humbled with your comment! Have a lovely week ahead:)

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  16. Ah! another great post idea. :)
    And a good post too. Here's wishing you many, many more shopping and window-shopping opportunities, Mr. Bhatia. :

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  17. So kind of you Divya! Wish some of your best wishes come true, for me:)

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