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Archive for August 7th, 2008

There’s a new mall that’s opened in the vicinity. Star Bazar. When it was newly opened, they had sent young college kids with boxes of muffins with an invitation card. I ate the muffins and chucked the card in the bin. I said to myself, that’s one mall I’m never going to visit. After all who needs another mall?

It seems, me. I had often passed it by and seen the huge board of HYPER BOOKS prominently displayed. Somehow it always seemed to beckon to me. So yesterday, driven primarily by curiosity, I decided to give the mall a whirl. But only the bookshop, mind you.

Ah! Simple you’d think. Except to reach the book store on the first floor, you have to pass through an entire floor and the first floor stacked with other goodies. The book store is put away in one corner of the first floor.

So I resisted the temptation and only sneaked peeks (I mean, you’re allowed that) on the way to the book store. There I found a large section devoted to offers. 3 for 2 the signs screamed. Ah well, there’s no harm in looking, I said to myself and wandered over there. I also picked up a basket, just in case, you know.

And within no time I had it filled with 9 books. The books were priced at Rs. 260 each. And nine books would have cost 2340. Except I was paying only 1560, a saving of a whole Rs. 780! How cool is that!

It was only later (when I came home) that I realised that the books had already been on sale elsewhere and still bore the original stickers of £2.50 and which price each book works out to Rs. 220! So these dudes had inflated the price of each book to Rs. 260 and then offered a discount! I had fallen for the biggest con in the game!

I really should tear up my MBA degree.

Then, of course, I was so pumped up by my savings that I decided to blow them all up.

“Oh, look at those T- shirts. 3 for 99! They’re practically giving them away free! And look at those huge mugs! And only Rs. 35! And those track pants! 4 for Rs. 100! I could do with several more. That way even if I don’t run the machine for a month I don’t have to worry.

And look at all those foreign foods displays! French cheeses for chrissakes! Oh but I hate cheese. It’s smelly. Well, yes, but it’s for guests. Besides, where do you get it so readily in Bombay? And are those salad dressings! And cold cuts! Oh, but I’m vegetarian. Never mind, it’s for guests.”

I stood staring stupidly at the check-out guy as he mouthed the words Rs. 5081. Meekly I paid, staring aghast at the stuff I’d bought and wouldn’t ever use. Did I just buy baby food?

And I resolved, no more malls. My neighbourhood kirana store will do nicely thank you. True, he may not have such a dizzyingly attractive display of goods and certainly no offers, but he is cheaper in the long run. Long live Bipinbhai Patel! At the very least, till the next mall comes along.

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