Countless chores aside, I was chosen as the (un)lucky male of the household to accompany the ladies to their monthly (or fortnightly; or weekly; or… hey! They went just yesterday!!!) trip to the shopping mall. With little (or none at all!) choice left for me, I silently followed my mom, aunt and cousin sister to their ‘near-by’ mall.
Reaching the building, and after the usual routine of “What’s in your bag?”; we stepped inside. Suddenly I found myself overwhelmed. My brain received strong signals to get out and run, without any specific directions as to where the exits were! After a while, in which I suppose my body adapted itself to the changed environment, I took a look around. Countless glass counters existed on all sides of me. And it seemed all were spraying perfumes on me in an effort to attract me into buying them. Their intensities were such that I had to close my eyes and rely on my man-instincts to lead me elsewhere!
Noticing that I was out of the perfume-wars, I opened my eyes… and had to hold my eyeballs with my hands to keep them from falling out. I was in Lingerie. Seems I unknowingly overused my man-instincts. Just when I had found something (ahem!) interesting, the ladies brigade found me and dragged me with them, all the while giving me scornful looks as if I was actually watching a live lingerie show! If they are so annoyed, why keep it in such an obvious place for (me) us to find? Well, moving on, we passed by several watch counters. I had to stop thrice to check if all of them had the same time on their dials. Satisfied, I happily moved along.
The next stop was the food mall on the 4th floor. I was really puzzled by this suspicious behaviour from the ladies. I refused to go any step further until I was told how they managed to skip 3 floors full of ethnic, urban and all other sorts of women wear and head straight to the food mall. Well, the only response I got was that I had been ‘informed’ at the beginning that this trip was to the food mall. Mumbling about my ‘distraction’ they moved into the large area resembling a crossover from a grocery shop with a maze. Several baskets and trolleys were thrust at me, and I managed to nab one just in time. And so began my adventure…
I’d really like to know the logic of lane selection. Out of all the possible ways, how does one woman (or three) decide which one to venture into? They all contain potentially buyable items. One might contain grocery, where the other will contain home sanitation. Then next to it will be snacks, and next to it cosmetics. Yet another will contain bakery items. In all this confusion, she (or a bunch of them) just walks into a lane as if the choice was obvious. The guy who said women are from Venus really had it all figured out. They are just (some really hot) aliens. Their brains just form a mental maze of the mall, and the path which would traverse the longest distance is chosen. We are then expected to follow them in this ‘extended’ journey.
So I too followed, ducking the coming crowd of people, all sorts of them. From kids happily pushing trolleys (not realising that this was a form of torture for man on Venus) to old people expecting me to go right around without disturbing them. Amidst all this I had to catch the plethora of things being tossed over towards the trolley (no wonder NBA is a man’s game!). Ducking, running, sprinting, braking and doing all sorts of stunts that would have qualified me for motocross had I been on a mud racer. I wonder why there aren’t attendants at every crossroads to manage the traffic. I really wouldn’t mind hearing the whistle of discipline in the chaotic (and utterly gossipy) conversations filling the large room. And why isn’t there a signal to allow people to move in more systematically? Or why my trolley doesn’t have a horn? I’d really like that fat aunty to move her big *** away from my face! There should also be auto finders installed on trolleys, which will indicate where their owners are, probably being busy with the classic dilemma of choosing Brand X with 25% extra or Brand Y with Rs.5 off!
If I hadn’t been restrained by the constant attempts at playing basketball by the three women, I might actually have played something useful – Trolley Mania. It’s a game meant to be played in a mall with trolleys. The rules are simple. You make a list of things to buy, take a trolley and make a dash in whichever lane you fancy. You take only those items from the shelves, which exist on your list. Keep a stopwatch handy, you’d like to beat you best time the next time you come by. People, trolleys, playing kids as such are considered as obstacles you must overcome. You may back out if the lane is blocked (although I’d prefer to pinch someone’s butt to get them moving). Bonus points if you meet and help a hot girl on your way. Keep your eyes wide open for boss monsters (her boyfriend) around. You don’t want a premature Game Over, do you? At the end, record your time. Go home and be happy at the amount of time and money you’ve saved while enjoying Trolley Mania.