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Guilty pleasures: Shopping at Promenade, Vasant Kunj on a working day- May 16, 2012

Whatever the excuse (a transportation glitch, meeting that gets over early, hunger pangs), finding yourself in a shopping mall on a working day with all the shops pretty much to yourself (and kids not around!) can be a fun experience! In my case, I’m not adept at shopping alone and I’m certainly no fashionsita, but window shopping I enjoy a lot! And people watching too!

I did end up buying footwear though, since clothes were out of bounds (on a diet, can’t buy clothes till I reach my target weight!). Here are some pictures I took using my iphone.

Holidays are here and mom-and-kid combos trawl the malls to take respite from the 46 degree heat outside. The VK malls get a fair number of expat footfalls. This kid was adorable; the moment formed a perfect foreground for the Kuoni ad behind!

High quality window dressings make window shopping pleasurable. I noticed certain colors were really in this season, this particular orange-red being the one that most caught my eye!

The trendy brands are right there in front of you in this mall. Zara, Bebe, Promod, Mango, M&S, S Oliver…you take ten minutes to get the lay of the land!

The mandatory ice-cream stop for the kids. Missed them at this point!

The shades in vogue- salmon pink, lemon green, lemon yellow, the orange-red, tangerine, a prussian-navy sort of blue, cream..summer is here for sure

Walking out wearing my shopping!

Small retailers are superbly efficient: Another party planning tale- March 29, 2012

So today was the errand day. First stop was Landmark. A huge pan-India chain selling books, music, stationery, toys, etc. We were trying to buy return gifts for Aadyaa’s friends and Udai’s, who would be coming for the party tomorrow. It took us about half an hour to select what we wanted, basically large quantities of finite items. It took us nearly the same amount of time to bill them!

One young man, sprightly enough but clearly on his first job ever, was patiently passing every single pen, pencil, crayon and comic (oops, did I let out the secret?) through the barcode scanner. He even fed in barcodes where the scanner didn’t oblige. About ten minutes down, I asked him if there was a better way to do this and he told me the system only takes one item at a time. There apparently was no way to enter a code and then enter the number of items of that type! All the items that he did scan were meanwhile piling up on the other side. About ten employees of the store hung about, not one of them attempting to fill these into a bag. Finally, we (scanner boy and me) had to ask one to help! And then, this dude proceeded to put all the books in one bag and the stationery in the other! Explaining the merits of weight distribution was sort of pointless…..So, after having a word with the manager of the store, who looked pained but not inclined to do anything much about the situation, we left carrying one bag that was nearly bursting open and another that was fairly light!

We didn’t find wrapping paper at this huge mega store (only the super expensive kind!) and so we visited the stationery shop at the urban village nearby (Chakkarpur, Gurgaon). We saw in operation a well-stocked store, efficiently manned, with an owner-manager who knew his stock (and most of his customers) intimately.  I could bet all the stuff we bought at Landmark would have been billed here in 3 minutes flat! Plus, we would have got a better deal, more variety, friendlier service….

Stupid us. Falling for big names. Lesson learnt! Look local first. And for other stuff, plan better and order online!

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