Why Outside the Mall?

Posted on April 8, 2006

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The Mall…
Big, huge, concrete, the mall is here to stay. The epitome of Globalization. Brands from across the world all under one roof, a proud advertisement declares. Food courts, health stores, beauty parlours, gadgetry, book stores, music stores, movie halls…The Mall is a city, you can get in and get all that you want and never have to step outside…EVER…The people around you wear the same clothes as you, they talk the same language as you, they check you out as you check them out…

The Mall…
I was sitting outside a really “cool” mall in the heart of Bangalore with my friend. We looked up and were amazed at the height of the walls, and a huge poster the same size as the wall…some new brand of watch and yet another celebrity staring into oblivion, trying to look all determined and sophisticated. Pani-pooris made of mineral water, and boiled salt ‘n’ peppahd corn sold at a steep Rs. 35 per serving. The Orange Juice counter shook me up…”Specially from America” it declared! Ronald Mc Donald sitting outside on a bench, casually and silently and smilingly taking over the world!

The Wall…
I walked into a mall the other day, and looked up, there was no Sky. Yet the ceiling is almost invisible to the naked eye. The ceiling is so well-made even the hottest sun-rays would never enter, or the arrival-of-spring-breeze, or the romance of autumn. Whatever the season outside, everything inside here remains unchanged. Nothing touches it. When you are inside, the heights of the glass walls ensure that you remain untouched with the “other side” of life. The bizzarre psychology of having glass walls dawned on me. It is crystal clear…Yet it is not Reality.

It was so simple to walk out the street and head to the vendor just at the steps of the mall and buy some sumptous Bhel-Poori and become one with the world outside…

The Mall, The Wall, giant and overpowering still stood proud as a bunch of Happy Teenagers walked in to their Reality.

“From Outisde the Mall” is just the voice of the common person, from the otherside of the Glass Wall. So read on.

Henri (April 9th 2006, Sunday)

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