So, my cousin arrives from a different town to attend a marriage.
She is a vivacious young lady, well read, well dressed, well pedicured-manicured, well mannered and well to do……
So, when she said if I would like to accompany her to the shopping mall for picking a few lipsticks for the marriage function, I said “Ummmmm….AAhhhh…Eeeehhhh….”

Soon I found myself in the parking lot of this uptown mall with my cousin beaming in the co-driver’s seat. I park my car, take the lift and come to this mega shop floor of Spencers.

Before I proceed any further let me make a very honest confession that I am not the kind who enjoys shopping at all. In fact I often fantasize about a great world where you could buy everything online and get them delivered at home. I defer my visit to market places and malls till the time a small trivial need has just started to metamorphose into a full blown panic situation, like if you don’t buy the toothpaste-tomorrow you won’t get to brush your teeth!

Then again, I always find that inside a mall your life seems to go into an algorithm.

Step1: Park your car
Step2: Get frisked and discover hidden wonders in your pockets/jacket linings
Step 3: Take the lift
Step 4: Reach the top floor
Step 5: Loiter around aimlessly at each floor
Step 6: Stop at PlanetM / Musicworld / Book Café etc (probability of a buy is 50%)
Step 7: Force your wife to try a few outfits knowing she won’t buy them
Step 8: Use the escalators for going to lower floors for maximum laze
Step 9: Finally arrive at McDonalds / Subway / Cookie Man / Juice Bar.
Step 10: Eat hastily as if a gun was pointed at your head
Step 11: Take the lift
Step 12: Take you car and go back home with happy memories

Therefore I am a real anti-mall person and my visits to the malls are strictly for three reasons.

Reason 1: Buying ration for the fortnight
Reason 2: Getting a hair cut (blame it on my long hairs which can not be cut in local barber shops)
Reason 3: Watching a movie

In fact none of my last 10 mall visits have been for more than 1 hour. Generally, Mausmi, my wife, and I always fan out at the shopping floor each one with our own agenda of procuring groceries independently. Years’ of experience has taught us about who has an eye for what and therefore we divide the labor and do it in parallel to save time. Thankfully Mausmi is not a mall person herself and we just rush through the ritual in an impressive timeline. So, when I entered the Spencers store with my cousin, I was gearing up for a short brisk stint.

Right at the entrance was this counter of some anti-ageing cream. She stops.

I: “Why stop here. Surely you don’t need these. You are just 26”.
She: “It is for mom.”
I: But we came here for lipstick.”
She: “So, if we buy anything else, will that be a sacrilege?”
I: “But then you can come with your mom. May be she will have a better idea.”
She: “I want to surprise her.”
I: “mmmmm…….”

The lady on the counter was quite attractive, so the 10 minute discussion did not seem too dull! Did we buy it? No.

So, we left that anti-ageing counter and were sucked into appliance section. There was everything on display. Refrigerators, televisions, mp3 players, microwave ovens, dvd players…. She stopped.

I: “Why stop here?”
She: “Are baba, we are in no hurry are we?”
I: “No. not really”
She: “Then let me look na.”

At this moment, a handsome bloke approaches us. He completely ignores me and says: “Good evening ma’am, are you looking for something…..”
She: “Ummmm actually we are looking for….ummmm….”
I: “We are looking for lipsticks”
My cousin turned to me with a look which said “#%$&%*%&*^*(“
The salesman was puzzled. “Ma’am lipsticks are that side.”
I: “Oh thanks a lot.”
Then I tucked at her arm and we left the appliance section.

They say a scorned woman is worth a thousand foes. And I was to learn that.
We stopped at the luggage section.
Soon there were three salesmen enthusiastically demonstrating the various sized trolley cases to her.

“No no no no…. this is not the right size.”
“That will never fit my jackets without folding them.”
“Who carries a black suitcase?”
“This handle will surely break in no time.”
“This will never get inside the trunk of my car…..”

Soon the three salesmen are panting as if they have been fielding the whole day without any success of catching a cricket ball.

Next victim was the grocery help.
She picked up a chocolate doughnut and demanded:” How many calories are in this?”
The saleswoman looked as if you had asked her the capital of Djbouti.

After repeatedly making mince meat of the utensils’ section, food section and clothes section, we finally arrived at the make up desk.

I: (trying to extend an olive branch) “I think this dark brown shade will look good on you; after all you are a fair lady.”
She: (curtly) “I am wearing a pink saree in the function. Brown with pink, how juvenile.”
I: ?????

She turned to the ladies in the counter (who were Northeastern girls) and said “Show me the pink shades please”.
In moments the counter was filled with all kinds of pink.
“Too light”
“Too dark”
“Not glowing”
“It is not water proof”

Then she turned to me and asked; “Dada, what do you say about this one? Isn’t it better than that one?”
To me, this one and that one and the one previous and the one next, all looked just pink and with every passing minute I could sense that I was not in the pink of my health despite being mobbed by chinks showing pinks (no racial abuse intended). I was about to sink.

I: “Ummmm yes it is nice, you know this pink.” I said with a wink.
She: “No, I don’t think so.”
She went back again to the ladies.

I excused myself and went to the men’s room and splashed my face with some water. The mirror reflection looked like a pale replica of my usual upbeat self.
So, finally I started my journey back to the lipstick counter hoping she has picked “her kind of pink”.

50 feet from the counter, my cousin saw me and started waving and king of jumping up and down.
I was relieved. “Looks like we got the stuff.”
I reached with a genuine broad smile.

She: “You know dada, I picked an amazing shade. This is just going to be fabulous. No one in the marriage function is ever going to come close to me…..”
I: “Wonderful.”
She: “Yes, this one has glitters on it, is water resistant, topped with moisturizing elements and the best part is that it offers sunscreen too.” She showed me the lipstick encased in a black sleek looking case.
I: “Wow that’s great. So what shade of pink is that?”
She: “Oh no, this is not pink. This is magenta. See…” She showed me the color.

By now I had started to get scared. A nagging doubt, a chilling suspicion was creeping up my spine.
I: “But your saree is pink right? Will this match?”
She: “Of course not. Are you crazy?”
I: “Then?”
She: “Now we need to pick a magenta saree.”
I: “*##^%*%&^(&^*&&()***&%%&^$”


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14 Responses to “Shop….Shop….Shop….SHOCK!”

  1. Arnab Datta Chaudhuri Says:


  2. devendra Says:

    Nice illustration of your’s experience.Its occurs with me many times also and we have no options otherwise.

  3. richa Says:

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha NO Comments!!!!!!!Next time send Mausmi with her!!!!!!

  4. Gaurav Goyal Says:

    The bst part…. >”To me, this one and that one and the one previous and the one next, all looked just pink and with every passing minute I could sense that I was not in the pink of my health despite being mobbed by chinks showing pinks (no racial abuse intended). I was about to sink.”

    Very well depicted.. we can easily relate similar experiences with this one.. 🙂

  5. Rashmi Ambastha Says:

    This makes me realise that next when I come to kolkata you should help me shop..long time isn't it? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  6. Sandeep Says:

    Thats hilarious. Who can understand women afterall? You were an innocent victim like several others out there.. Just a piece of advise is to nod at everything with a "wow" expression, when asked fr your precious comments(though i knw most of us wud b clueless to spot out the difference). Better luck next time dude!!

  7. Bharat Says:


  8. Ramit@Impetus Says:

    Very True Mannu! A Genuine Experience faced by most of us, all the times 🙂

  9. Arindam Says:

    Oh Man! I can find some similarities with my mall experience. But, the story is presented nicely. I can say 5 minutes of my time well spent laughing! Keep it up buddy.

  10. anuj Says:

    very true!! that's why i always try to avoid shopping with harshna 🙂

  11. Ritka Says:

    hahahahaha.. very intresting 🙂

  12. Prajjwal Says:

    Well written Manasij.. enjoyed reading.. keep it up :).

  13. Kartikey Khanna Says:

    I relate myself 100% with your mall experience. It is mostly for groceries minus haircut – apparently I lost most of my hair 🙂

  14. annoymous Says:

    very well written article …..very hilarious

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