Welcome to the good life!

By Aman Kanth | Last Updated: Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 13:55
Aman Kanth
Déjà vu

A chance visit to your ‘friendly neighbourhood’ mall during the great shopping festival and you end up buying almost everything on the retail display. Guess what, you just underwent a bizarre shopping experience. It can be the latest smart phone, it can be a high-end digicam or the latest fashion accessory that makes you look ‘oh so cool’...ain’t that so?

I want it all and I want it now – yeah, that’s the new buzz word for the hip and cool. Materialism is the new spiritualism. With money replacing happiness, what’s worth mentioning is the fact that our lives have become an incessant shopping ritual, where each day we buy stuff, more stuff and at times, a hell lot of stuff!

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind being called a miser because I don’t cough up cash just to buy something for the heck of it, as a result, clichéd advertising slogans like ‘you are worth it’ and ‘you are the best‘ fail to work their magic on my thick skin. Yes, but one thing is for sure, markets, especially malls, are a strange phenomenon because the moment you step into them, you are seduced by their aura of extravagance. It is a completely different world where constant exploding images through advertisements and gleaming displays make you feel acutely conscious of your lack. At times, you feel like shoplifting and running away with everything without paying a single dime!

A hyper-reality, the market is ready with its wares waiting to bedazzle you with its charisma. Just imagine, in the world of constantly changing fashion, you cannot afford to be lagging behind - you have to have the latest ‘in’ thing and what not. Conversely, you don’t buy things; you are buying an image, which in turn gives you a new identity. Primarily, markets disseminate desire even if you don’t have one.

Have you ever noticed the moment you enter a mall or a shopping arcade, a silent epiphany takes place in your mind which slowly and gradually takes complete control of your rational self. Things turn animate and implore you to take a look and buy things, which you may or may not require. It’s much like comfort food; it gives an idea of well being and an emotional high, an adrenaline rush. Okay, you give in and buy the things, there is a woozy feeling in your head and you suddenly feel happy. You want to flaunt your new acquired possession. Isn’t it? Okay, I might be a little more imaginative here; making it sound almost theatrical, but it’s always the same. And youngsters are most susceptible to the lure of market, as it targets them at emotional level and school and college goers become the perfect catch.

Wonder how hollow our estimation of ourselves can be. Are we not worshipping the false idols? Umm...I mean we are trying to forge new identity purely on uncontrolled buying.

The magic of market works on all those who enter it and get sucked by its false images. You know, it’s like I want to buy a boxer and I need to be a hunk with rippling six-packs, just because there is a huge billboard splattered across the wall with a beefcake model as the face of a particular brand. Well, thank you very much because I am not in a mood of retail therapy. If buying stuff is filling a void, I better let that gap remain forever and yes, here the word ‘gap’ mentioned has nothing to do with GAP Inc.

<b><i>The writer of this blog goes hysterical every time he sees fancy stuff at his ‘friendly neighbourhood’ mall. Bleah!</i></b>

First Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 13:55

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