Weekend at the…mall, of course.

It was a balmy Saturday afternoon. A long lazy lunch had been ingested, digested and the deep afternoon sleep that comes on with the ingestion of too much glutinous stuff in the heat of the day done with. Then the question arose, like it always does. At this point on a weekend.  The eternal debate about whether to catch some art and culture at the nearest multiplex or to go out and do what seems to be fast becoming every Indian family’s national weekend recreation, namely go shopping.

For someone who went shopping for a new pair of shoes when the last one refused to be held in place with any amount of self inflicted cellotape, fevicol and emergency ICU services from the local mochi, shopping just because is still a strange concept. To go shopping, when you have enough clothes to last you through size variations ranging from grossly pregnant to skinny as a matchstick (no, of course, I never fitted into any of these, I just bought them on a hope and a prayer and the fact that they were on 50 per cent sale and therefore irresistable.) Therefore, we powdered and went. The place, where else, but Inorbit. It being sneezing distance from the house, and the husband averse to driving on the weekends. And me averse to driving even if a gun were held to my head.

The brat, who by now knows the layout of the entire mall, much better than he knows his alphabet, reached the toy section of megastore and knelt before the shelves in sheer worship of …. rattles…..baby bouncers….prams. And bassinets. Something tells me this child has still to mentally grow out of his diapers.

The husband was furiously trying out tshirts which through a strange fact of the company name being initialised has become an iconic almost obscenely named brand, with strange and stranger slogans scribbled across his chest, which made me wonder what he was advertising for when I was right there next to him, and whether this was a clear message being sent out which I needed to get antennae up about.

Between rounds of chasing the brat through food courts, toy shelves and random aisles, I realised that I had got almost a week’s worth of cardio done, unmindful of the horrific sight I must have definitely inflicted on onlookers with all fat ajiggle. This with them stilletoes on. No, I lie, not stilletoes, with sharp jabbing heels, but nice round toe, box heeled number which allowed me to run at warp speed behind child prone to disappearing behind shelves and display counters, which in context of weekend rush could be quite horrific.

I did the pinch test when I returned home, but the fat seemed quite firmly attached to muscle and no sign of it having dissolved with the unseemly sweat which had spread all over my tshirt. What is it about the weather these days? Sometimes I swear I am dissolving into a pool of lard right in my seat and am amazed to find a solid self when I decide to get up. One doesnt need a sauna in Mumbai these days. Just find yourself a room with windows you can close, and do so. If you dont run out shrieking and steamed to the gills after five minutes, I’ll refund you any money we bet on it. I caught glimpses of perfectly made up, manicured, pedicured and coordinated women also managing angel like children who held onto hands and followed the adults they belonged too like one of my most fervent dreams. With no sweat. Yes, am shamed to admit was sweating like a hydrant in an airconditioned mall. Huge sweat patterns making a design that was a style statement all its own on the back of the Tshirt. Under the armpits, the cloth stuck to skin in a most disgustingly farmhand manner. And the neck and face was dripping sweat that no amount of tissues were mopping up quick enough. I switched hastily to triple absorbent face napkin which then mopped up the melted make up along with the sweat, and tried to kid myself into believing I was looking barefaced and naturally glowing. Until someone tried to sell me oil control foundation as I ran past them.

Almost went into nearest women’s wear store to change out of sweat drenched tshirt into clean and dry clothes, which didnt raise a stink upto the heavens. Perfume and sweat are not an olfactorily potent combination for seduction, I assure you. I swear there were people reeling and collapsing when I entered the confined space of the capsule elevator. The sales people at the sadly bereft perfume counters somersaulted in glee as I passed, certain that here was a candidate who really needed all the stock they had on their counters, but before I could even sniff the white strips they waved enticingly under my nose, I needed to get to the sunglasses section where a three foot nothing little person was happily trying out Armani sunglasses.  If nothing, the son inherits his parents’ love for the needless good things in life. He was calmed down only by the purchase of a Lilliput pair of sunglasses which is now a constant fixture on his face.

Which reminds me, its been high time since I bought a pair of new sunglasses. The retro oversized bumble bee style Ford I have sporting is now two years old, and I have another Cavalli aviator lying neglected and spurned in a drawer which I get a reaction from to the metal on my nosebridge, and therefore never wear. What should I buy next? Maybe next weekend… along with some deo, or maybe those sweat gland removal procedures need to be done before any return trip to mall like situations in summer. Before I get hauled up for being an olfactory menace to the surroundings.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Weekend at the…mall, of course.

  1. booboosmamma says:

    Its been almost two years since i had a leisure weekend shopping at the mall. First off it gets tough for me to go thr with Boo Boo, all this fedding stuff, diaper bag and worst of all bundle him up in all the layers and then after reaching there either its feeding him or running behind him. I can completly understand what you went through.


  2. Kiran Manral says:

    booboosmom: We were back at the mall yesterday and all I did was run run run after him. My aunt and uncle, down from Norway, whom I was accompanying gently suggested a contraption where one has a two metre rope attached to the child’s waist and the parent’s waist that they use out there. Made sense to me.


  3. sraikh says:

    Ohh I have a “leash” like thing. Its a monkey backppack with 2 straps that you tied around the toddler’s waist and the tail is the the part the parent holds onto. I only used it once successfully..
    I almost fell over when he started running away

    I must try it out. Am sick and tired of whizzing round aisles without getting a chance to look at anything on the shelves.


  4. Sameera Nandi says:

    I can emphatise with the sweating bit. Mumbai does feel like a sauna..most times of the year


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s