To me, there’s something truly enchanting about stepping into a mall. It could be the 4th time in a week at the same mall. Still, my heart jumps with the same joy each time. Of course, the free air conditioning makes it a welcome option in a humid place like Mumbai. The sprawling space with rows of showrooms waiting to be explored gives me a real kick. There is an uncanny charm about brand new things i don’t intend to buy but am happy to just look at. i might have looked at the same windows before but there’s so much in store that i’ll never be bored even if i were to pass the same floor a hundredth time.
What i like best about malls is that they can be just as calm as the sea during low tide, on weekdays. So those are the days (i’ve had the luxury of haunting them on a lot of weekdays) when you can stroll along the deserted corridors and get to choose your table in the food court. But i am more excited and look forward to making my way to my favourite haunt on weekends. Bustling, noisy and energetic, malls have almost a festive look on weekends. It’s like a celebration for no reason every week. i love to become one with the crowds and lose myself in the throng. Its futile to expect any vacant chairs in the food court but it's this swarm that truly portrays the defining spirit of our times. The zeitgeist is evident in the masses that have learnt to enjoy life irrespective of whether they can afford the brands showcased at the mall.
Malls represent the transformation of family time for the middle-class. Its no longer the occasional eat-out and a movie. A weekly trip to the plush mall and pop-corns while sauntering around is very much a possibility. Budget-friendly and comfortable. It is also heartening to see that the older generation also is game for trying out different cuisines. i find a lot of parents and grandparents sitting in restaurants along with the younger lot trying out pastas and burgers. The mall-culture has caught on fast and caught on for good.
The next time you step into a mall, take a moment to feel the gush of human energy that’s palpable around. For me, i shall soon be the first member in the new category of people called malloholics!!