The shopping appetite of our folks is unbelievable! As I walked through malls this week with enticing displays of sales, clever marketing and not real discounts, I understood how so many shopping complexes thrive here! Malls are now also the new socialising joints apart from offering retail therapy. My neighbour’s granny is always amused at the concept of just visiting shops when you don’t really need to buy, unlike her time when new clothes were bought for a few occasions with great fanfare, planning and budget allocation. This week, I suddenly caught myself in a shopping spree, standing for a good 40 minutes at the mall cash counter for my turn. I was surprised at my own patience. Perhaps we don‘t like standing in queues like that even during voting time. It was obvious that even the salesmen are unable to gauge the footfalls and were running into rush hours even at noon on a work day.
I would find it hard to imagine such an interest in the so-called‚ meaningful things like art and culture. We all know Chennai’s music festival draws good crowds and the annual event is frequented by Indians from other countries too. Can we expect that scene here? Perhaps not! This is indeed a unique city – completely in favour of a different fun, enjoyment and indulgence. There is the regular handloom and handicraft melas year long. Then we have the perennial Shilparamam as a representation of local craftsmanship. Of course, we have our conventional malls having deal after deal and needless to say, we also have local boutiques that have cropped up lately. To realise that all of these are actually making profits gives us an idea of what Hyderabad does even while we are busy creative waves working as a happening city. I cannot imagine this in Trivandrum, for example, where people are usually more planned in their shopping routines or even Bengaluru where there is still no urgency to lap it all up. Says Sarvamangala Chavali, owner of the popular boutique Anagha,”Shopping is an integral part of our psyche and we love to dress up, regardless of our mood. Like eating, bathing, working…shopping is part of our routine.”
Here we are ready to do all these plus go to our annual exhibition Numaish too! Sigh, if only we showed half the enthusiasm during elections, our poll percentages would go up quite a bit. Watch out folks, GHMC elections are round the corner!
(The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)