A new mall has opened up in Delhi.
How is this different ? Well, this is the first BIG mall to open in the city (all the rest are in Gurgaon, and mostly quite small). It is located in the prime Saket district, previously famous for the PVR cinema complex (Buzz anyone ?)
You cannot really differentiate it from any other mall in any other city in the US. And if you consider the bay area, you may find that the ratio of Indians to White Folk might also be very close ! There are a lot of the same brands (though the prices are probably double what you would pay in the US). The standard food court. Teenagers wandering around aimlessly, trying to look cool. Fashion conscious middle aged women hoping to score bargains. Curious girls getting free make-up at the cosmetics stores. There is a piano in the central dome, which plays that cheesy automated mall music at all times.
But if you look at the roof, you will spot the imprints of two feet through the translucent plastic. And a plastic hose snaking towards them. This is the menial who is cleaning the roof from the top. And you will also notice the retinue of bag carriers that follows the more prolific shoppers. And the security folks in their peaked caps – trying to portray a sense of authority that vanishes at the first instance of confrontation (you never know – the person they are trying to stop might turn out to be powerful enough to buy the whole mall – and he will let them know about it too !). The trunk of your car is checked when you enter the parking lot, and the underside is inspected with a mirror. There is a kids corner, where you can literally check-in your brat (you get a claim ticket) and uniformed ayahs will make sure they don’t kill themselves.
I bet some people have deliberately lost the claim ticket.
They have left a lot of landscaped open space. And well maintained. I bet this will be a popular spot for a afternoon beer in the winters. I will see you there !
(written offline while in Chandigarh, disconnected !)