The Sahara Mall in Gurgaon
The Mall Culture is comparatively new in India. When I was in college there were no malls in most of the cities. Today, the big ones boast of one too many. On a 2 km stretch of a road in Gurgaon (quite close to New Delhi) you can count four malls. One of them, the Sahara Mall is pictured above. There is the Metropolitan Mall (with a multiplex movie theater called PVR), the City Center Mall (that has a multiplex called DT) right across the Metropolitan and a place called Arcus. The funny part is there is no passenger subway or over bridge between the Metropolitan and the City Center malls and pedestrians always have fight with the motorized vehicles to cross the road.
A Bangle Shop in a Mall, Gurgaon
Initially, these malls held some attraction for me. I used to enjoy the visits. They are colorful and a good distraction but now it seems that was at least a century ago!
Mangal Pandey: The Rising- Recently Released Movie
I still like going to the movie sometimes in these malls but on a weekend they get so horribly crowded that all the fun it taken away from the visit. On the weekdays, one has to always weigh the option having fun/sleeping late with feeling sleepy throughout the day in the office.
But otherwise, I have completely lost interest in these places. Why? I find the stuff sold there so overpriced and the hype generated around them huge (I realized this and much more through an excellent book called No Logo by Naomi Klein).
When I realized that more than half the product price inflation comes from advertising and not production costs (Kareena Kapoors and Shahruk Khans and Michael Jordans of the world get million bucks deal and you and I pay for it) I decided to move my shopping to less glamorous places. I also find the glossy images very boring after a while particularly in conjunction with the girt and grime of my daily life.
Still, malls are here to stay in India. In the same Gurgaon, you cannot find a decent playground or public library. But I guess it is a matter of demand and supply.