December 05, 2011

Malled

It was huge. Well lit. The entrance itself was grand enough to intimidate. Flashy banners screamed names of brands she’d only read in overpriced magazines. It looked pretty. On second thoughts, pretty snobbish.

While driving down the parking space, which looked like a never-ending twirling ride, she read something that reaffirmed her sense of the place.

“Most people may not have heard of these brands. But then, this place is not for most people.”

Clever line, she said to herself. As a writer, that’s the first thing that came to her mind. But wait, there was much more to those words. There was a categorization of a brutal sense that she did not appreciate.

Euphemism – that’s the word she was looking for.

Euphemism (n) - Substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered offensively explicit.

She’d read it a hundred times in school; appreciated many examples of the same from countless poems. But unlike those several times, today it didn’t leave her with a very happy feeling.

She felt uneasy, probably unable to decipher which side of the bracket she belonged to. She entered the large atrium nonetheless. Manicured women, spendthrift men and difficult kids – it had the usual elements that make for the drama called retail therapy.

But remember, this mall was not for the usual shopaholics. People walked in and out of the obnoxiously expensive stores - checking price tags, expressing surprise in hushed voices and longingly looking at the stuff they wish she could afford. Suddenly, the uber- cool mall culture seemed like a conspiracy to stop people from being who they are. Why would you want an overcoat that’s meant for the London weather? Why would you need a soap that costs more than your pair of jeans?

Surely, she didn’t belong to this bracket, even if she could. After an hour of aimless walking that left her with tired eyes and feet, she headed back to the car. There again, in front of her, she saw that line; like a swear word written in beautiful calligraphy.

“… But then, this place is not for most people.”

4 comments:

Priyanka said...

“… But then, this place is not for most people.”

You defined it as being "pretty snobbish". ;)...but I like being able to fit in to a place where most people won't belong...gives me a sense of exclusivity. Whether it's the upscale side of things or downscale. Not all people can adapt well beyond their comfort zone. And that, makes me feel like I'm one of the few who'd be able to survive anywhere.

All the same, I do appreciate a different take on what most people would be drawn towards, like moths that are drawn towards lights. :)

bhumika said...

@ priyanka

"I like being able to fit in to a place where most people won't belong...gives me a sense of exclusivity. "

everybody does. but then, the point is whether you are comfortable doing that or stretching yourself way too much simply to belong to that exclusive category.

like i said, with malls like these, it seems like a conspiracy :)

Devika said...

Probably she was entering the place with a prejudice, that it seemed like shouting "I am snobby" at her..

"Most people may not have heard of these brands. But then, this place is not for most people."-------This line puts me off, rather than insulting me ..It makes me judge them to be naive, show-offs and stupid, rather than making me doubt my association to the target group.

I believe she could have taken it in a lighter vein, and not felt cornered! She could have laughed and taken a ride on the toy-train!

Dita said...

Can't read enough lady!

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