This is a story of the journey of my exit from malls. Before 2020 my lifestyle was different in the sense that my demands, as well as expenses, were more. During the lockdown, restriction on going out was posed on me as well as everyone. What happened after March 2020 is history.
But today, that is 22nd July 2023, I am a completely different person who finds malls a place to show off, a means to spend more than needed, and a stage to show others, I too can spend. Belonging to a middle-class family, our expenses are completely dependent on the money we earn.
Going back to the era before 2020,
I still recollect the mall experience. With a purchase list of groceries and other items, I enter a mall. The air-conditioning there gives great relief to the ones entering. It gave me too. Be it summer, rain or winter, people enjoy air-conditioning there, as it is free of cost. Soon my list was out of my purse. As I head towards the section having the items on my list, my eyes drool over the cosmetics section. But cosmetics are nowhere on my list, as I have enough lipsticks and Kajal pencils. Yet the bright focus light on the cosmetics section drew my attention. The discount word was the first one I noticed.
Sometimes, I have purchased from this section just because someone noticed me entering it. Now what if I exit the section without buying anything? Such an embarrassment. Unplanned cosmetics make the first place in my cart. Next, the smell of food from the left side drives me crazy as I am already hungry. It’s 12 pm.
which ends before it starts costs around 300 rupees. I happily buy it. Instead of savoring it there, I decide to eat it at home. But along with the pastry, there are other things to get my heed. My senses are now focused on garlic bread and fruit cake. Mind you, none are on my list. Yet they too make a place in my cart, in spite of their unreasonable costs.
As I head towards the kitchen items section, I fixate my eyes on colorful dresses hanging to my right. My feet get carried away there, effortlessly. Checking the price tags, I swipe through the dresses one by one. A T-shirt in the local market near my home cost around 200 rupees. But here the deal was for 450. Never mind, after all, it’s a mall. Cool environment, variety to shop from, and a bunch of rich people around, what a time!
Blinded by the magnificence,
colorful visions, and bright views, 3 dresses make their way to my heart and later to my cart. What? The items on my list are yet to be purchased. I rush to the concerned sections, pick those and look for the smallest payment queue. Finally, I find one. There too, comparing my cart to others, I was ashamed of my tight budget. But wait. What is peeping in my neighboring lady’s cart? The latest brand of biscuits tempts me to buy them. I leave my cart there and rush towards the biscuits section and get three packets for me too. After payment, I leave the mall with 7 items on my list and 15 in my carry bag.
This was a ritual
whenever I visited a mall. But after the phase of lockdown, I ponder over my stupidity now. I have spent thousands in the malls. Believe me, I regret spending my hard-earned money. Many things with a minimal cost, were tagged for a hell lot of money. In the local market, we get similar ones of the same quality at reasonable rates. Not only my cart but my mind is also trained now to have only those things which are needed at the moment.
The entry of the lockdown period became a reason for my exit from the eye-pleasing, but pocket-draining malls. Now I am happy that I don’t pay extra for the idli sambar, for the popcorn, and too much extra for the so-called discount sections of cosmetics and dresses. In fact, I learned to make fantastic idlis during the lockdown. Check the recipe of the same here. You won’t regret it.
My exit from malls made way for a simple, satisfying lifestyle for me. When are you planning such an exit?