I'm writing this post because my cousin brother believes that one day blogs & tweets will be held up as historical documents, chronicling where we have come from as a people, giving perspective on where we are headed.
Much like Mohenjodaro, my blog is then. This thought delights me.
Therefore, I feel it is my obligation to write about my day at the mall. Not just any mall, but Ambience Mall. To non-Delhiites, this won't mean much. And truth be told, this mall isn't even in Delhi. It's in Gurgaon, which is in my favourite Indian state, Haryana (I jest, surely you sense that).
This is Ambience Mall.
It is very big. It is so big that I had to shrink its image to the smallest permissable size on this blog. It is so big that within its folds of fat, it can hold several football fields and in fact does hold several sporting venues, a brewery & a kiddy amusement park. It is so big that you could include a visit to it in your exercise regime & get a solid cardio burn (which will then be rendered redundant as you speed-walk past the food court). In short, this mall be big.
Now, unlike some of my friends, I am not a mall hater. In fact, I've developed a bit of a mall 'habit', if you know what I mean. I dig the air-conditioning, the polished floors, the yellow lighting and assorted food/beverage smells sneaking up on me as I turn a corner. I like walking past material objects I can rarely afford, because on days that I can, I forget that life is about self-awareness, self-love and trying to reach a higher truth. I have clocked enough hours to be an official mall-appreciator.
Oh but Ambience Mall. It is the strangest mix of crassness & creativity, ugliness & quirkiness, pappiness and awesomeness. It looks like it was put together in a hurry. Like some fatcat in a fatcat boardroom said - "Time nahi hai yaar, budget nahi hai yaar. Jaldi khatam karo yaar, kiraye pe chaddaao yaar." It looks unfinished, unthought of and a little dirty. It's smug in its awareness that airconditioning will get us past the front door. The BMW showroom will do the rest (it's a great microcosm of urban Indian society, this BMW showroom. The untouched, pristine flooring within and the grimy glass windows, pock-marked with all the nose-rubbing & convertible-induced drooling).
The fact that very few visitors can actually afford its merchandise is immaterial. Ambience Mall, like many of its kind, has become a picnic spot. That's alright I guess. Except, looking at all the stuff makes me kinda mad deep inside. It makes me irrationally crave the ugliest bags that Louis Vuitton could possibly come up with (scam of the century, that LV is) and then hate myself because I can't own one. To deal with my rage, I head to the Food Court to eat my feelings but then sight the brewery and get smashed instead. The booze gives me the courage to walk into the exclusive Golfworx, where I see people playing a virtual version of the most outdoor of all outdoor sports, in tiny, darkened cubicles (and they have caddies!!!!!). The salespeople there try to sell me Rs.11,000 shoes though I do not play golf. I walk out.
Luckily, Ambience has made provisions for bowling (another sport I do not play) and boozing, just next door. I am walking in when my mother calls and tells me that 3 malls in Saket (all adjacent to each other) have been evacuated because of bomb threats. It seems, the crowd that accumulates at such venues on weekends is too good for terrorists to resist. That still does not deter from my goal of not-bowling because everything is so shiny and new. I cannot leave. So I watch Delhi's Bowling Team (they look official, t-shirts and all) play. Then get bored.
Walking out, a large building adjacent to the entrance is sighted. It has several chimneys spewing out dark grey smoke. I am informed that this might be where all the power to run the mall comes from. It stops me in my tracks (Mentally. Physically it's too hot to stop. The outside world is not, unfortunately, airconditioned) and sums up my impression of Ambience Mall:
That was an awful lot of energy to bust for a bunch of people not buying a BMW.