Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mall-o-mall: review of Thakur Mall

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Kids in Mumbai no longer weep for a beach outing. I remember feeling a rush of freedom as my husband and I trundled off in our old omni with our kid in tow (her doll-house, her beach kit, her entire paraphernalia taking up a full suitcase) towards the lovely beaches hugging Mumbai: Ali Baug, for one. But nowadays, being a typical Mumbaiya she wants her outing only in the airconditioned environs of a mall, as our credit cards collectively takes a beating since we end up doing the only thing you can in a Mall: shop!

But each mall has its own energies. InOrbit has a way making your unloosen your purse strings: both my husband and I sigh with relief when we allow a weekend to pass without an Inorbit in our orbit. But PVR, thankfully, does not make us spend at all: the other day I spotted a cheap shell bracelet I picked up off the Fashion street being sold for Rs 1200 in one of its fancy shops. Well, nobody likes to be fooled. So PVR, despite getting lots of footfalls (its food court has slurping foodies' energetics) does not get much in terms of shopping windfall I guess. Price tags are not conducive for shopping....

The other day, on the say so of some of my husband's friends, we landed at Thakur Mall: very low brow stuff with high brow price tags. Lots of brand rejects, having a dusty, unsold look. At Woodland factory outlet, my husband finally found a reason to whip out his credit card. But even there we had to convince the unconvinced shop assistant that the pair he was selling us was not really matched... That sort of shopping experience, you understand. The food court is a shame. The only counter where some Indian food was being sold had a shaky cockroach wobbling on it... Mercifully, we got a masala chai for Rs 10. And replenished our irritated souls with two chais each. But though Inorbit food court may be high-priced it does not have this moth-eaten, sad, cockroachy look.

At Thakur Mall, since some shops (like Woodland and we thought Mcdonald, though the latter we later discovered actually has an entry inside) have entrances outside, we had to keep passing the security at the main entrance. The lady looked morose, grabbed my upper arm so tight that it ached the rest of the evening. After finishing checking with me, it was her way of indicating where I was to go!! By lifting me by my arm and pushing me to where I must go!! I was too tired to tick her off any case they say these checks are for our security. But can we have some polite checking... It is annoying to have resentful security staff! The other day, at Thakur cinema, for a morning show they actually had a male guard check female bags!! How is that!! ?? I told him that they simply must have female guards do that! He grinned at me cheekily.. Imagine if he dug into my bag and picked up a tampon or a sanitary pad?? A village boy unused to such things and I may have to explain what it was?? Some of the female guards are also clueless: the other day the woman guard at the PVR theater wanted to know what my credit card-holder was all about: it is this sort of lack of training or civility that gets me!!

Any case, as I can see not all malls are going to be able to survive the meltdown. I for on am happy, because that will mean our Mumbai kids stop being such bores and start thinking of a life beyond the mall...

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