Its weekend and are you still stuck with the regular question as to what to do on Sunday? May be not, as the Indian populace has finally found the answer to the ever bothering question quite easily. Yes, a visit to a nearby mall is the most probable answer any metropolitan citizen would give. This is because the retail revolution has completely taken the nation by storm. Mushrooming of malls is a clear indication that the wave of consumerism is arriving steady and fast.
Crowded streets, traffic congestion and mob of people flooding a chic looking building, is a popularly visible scenario every Sunday. This plush building is none other than a mall in Gurgaon, NCR Delhi. This brings to light that people’s perception has completely changed towards shopping. Congenial atmosphere, world class environment, international brands, basic amenities and exotic cuisines, is what the malls aspire to provide under one roof.
Nevertheless, people are welcoming this new trend with open arms, unaware of what just might be its consequences. Moreover, sales and bargain deals, attractive prizes, and schemes are the success formulae, the shopkeepers are trying to cash in, on consumers. This has made malls a mega hit amongst the metro crowd, putting fuel to their ever increasing demand for a better living. This is a result of the expanding Indian market and disposable incomes by the service class.
As an Alternative
Apart from being the shopper’s paradise, malls are also acting as a good alternative, for the people to escape from the otherwise poor living conditions. This brings the flipside of the mall culture into sight, which enforces that though shopping is the modern mantra, people are looking for something more. Malls act as great refuge from the scorching heat of the sun, in summers, as all the malls are centrally air conditioned for the purpose.
Another reason for the malls being so crowded is that quite a number of people roam there aimlessly. Their purpose can be anything from a get together with friends to simply window shopping, from buying popcorns to buying cards. This explains that hot weather, frequent and prolonged electricity and water cuts are some of the strong reasons, why the common man is attracted towards the escalating shrines of consumerism.
Shopaholism is the name given to the addiction for shopping, which has joined the list after cigarette and alcohol. A kind of a physiological disorder, it is constantly on the rise. It should be noted that it has made its way not only in the lives of people, but also in the credentials of psychiatrists. According to their unanimous belief, it can lead to serious problems, if not paid attention to. In severe cases, the patient may even avert to shoplifting and stealing, in case the desired product is denied. Moreover, shopping is also being termed as a means of escape mechanism.
This implies that the retail therapy gives the shopper a temporary high, corresponding to the feeling that he possesses what he wants. Besides, the therapy seems to work wonders, not only for women but also for men. The metamorphosis the society is witnessing, presents man as the evolving shopping freak, shouldering the women with utmost grace. Hooked on the phenomenon, it gives them the sense of power and control, pampering their mountain high egos. This can even go the extent, where people end up wasting money, for the euphoria shopping provides.
After all said and done, it is finally time for the word of caution. India, the land of spirituality and mysticism, is steadying fast on the road to development, with mall culture just a miniscule aspect of it. As the investors and town planners vie to fit in the huge glass buildings amidst squashed streets, there are a number of problems, the process poses. Ever increasing space crunch, growing traffic, developing infrastructural pressure, power scarcity, parking blues are some of the troublesome head raising situations, to be fought.
In addition to this, the tremendous change these modern marvels have brought into the lives of people is alarming. These commercial havens not only serve as battlegrounds for the international brands but also impel people to wrestle with their own psyche and value system. Being carried away in the voluble stream of consumerism and retail revolution, common man is rendered completely unarmed. He is being prepared to take what can be actually termed as ‘sweet poison’, which in a way is a boost to the Indian economy but on the other hand can steal away the joy and innocence from daily life, if not practiced in limits.