At the mall…

It was one of those evenings. The air was hot and humid. The airconditioner was on full blast. The brat was on turbo powered overdrive. And I was beyond slothfull. If I could have someone go to the loo for me I would have. The mother was pushed to the point of no return and was barking at the walls, thanks to the brat having made her spin wheels of the helicopters till the cows came home. It was the no mans land time between evening and night, and beloved friend Sonu had gone off on a Mumbai darshan jaunt with assorted junta from his friend circle. Therefore the bright idea of taking the brat to the mall. “He’ll run around for a bit. He’ll tire himself out and go to sleep easily,” I told the mother in great hope. “And I can window shop.” Fat chance. She gave me a look and warned me, “I cant run after him, my legs are aching.” But the flame of hope burns eternal in the heart, so we changed him into what we thought was a great ensemble, only to have him throw rolling on the floor tantrums to wear a jacket that has been so outgrown it looks like a shrug on him, over flared bermudas and open sandals. If I could, I would refuse to be seen accompanying him lest it be attributed to my poor taste. This, thinking back to the many instances when I have sneered dismissively at the horrible clothes people have made their kids wear in public places, avowing my kid would always be the best dressed of the lot. Now I know better, and also know that the best laid outfits by moms are discarded for tacky uncoordinated ensembles that would suit rag pickers. And my sartorially inclined prince has tastes quite his own. And will dress the way it pleases him. Never mind what fashion dictates.

So there we were at the mall, Mother, me and brat. With the brat running in circles round the atrium in dizzying speed all set on dashing into unsuspecting adults and upsetting popcorn all over. The mother, true to her word, rested her wearing legs on a bench meant expressly for the purpose, at which brat took umbrage at her resting peacefully rather than running squealing behind him all over the place. “Nana, get up. Do running.” Nana left him unheeded. He continued to rock the joint, as they say. In the midst of running all over the place, he managed to get into a Lilliput store and con the salestaff to get him into a Spiderman Tshirt, and then get me to shell the money for it, by refusing to change out of it… (In troth, I couldnt be more pleased, the jacket was happily discarded into the trash can). I sashayed into a shop with cute little polka dot tops hanging in the window, just begging to be bought. “Sorry Madam. No in XL.” Could have slugged my bag at him, weighed down as it was with sipper and assorted foodstuffs for the brat. Slunk out of the shop and salvaged the situation by getting into the sunglasses shop and picking up a pair of Versace sunglasses. Beautiful slate grey, with metallic sides and the Medusa head on the side. A lot of guilt happened. After all, its been barely a couple of months since the Dior I picked up in Goa. Never have I been turned away by footwear salespersons or sunglasses salespersons or handbag salespersons. Or perfume salespeople for that matter. In fact, their faces light up with a million sparkly bulbs when I visit, literally falling over their feet to drag me into their stores. Then I went ahead and picked up a perfume I really didnt need. And having blown up some hardearned money, I resolved to take an appointment with the psychiatrist next week to resolve this shopaholism. Will resolve unresolved issues next week. For now, just wanted to feel good. And buying makes one feel good. What was that study about women in the UK who prefered shopping over sex? And did they just add me to the list?

Here comes the big spender goes the song in the background, and I can actually see them wring their hands in anticipation when I enter. Perhaps that explains why I have such a surfeit of all these. Thought to ponder: The person who invents the one size fits all outfit will be a multimillionaire guaranteed. Perhaps a fabric that stretches to accommodate excess bulk and automatically shrinks to fit a leaner silhouette…is anyone listening out there?

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About Kiran Manral

Author of The Face At The Window, ( 2016), Karmic Kids, All Aboard (2015) , Once Upon A Crush (2014) and The Reluctant Detective (2011).
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