Thursday, March 27, 2014

Shopping Is My Cardio..!

“It is the last and final boarding call for Mr. Govind Mehrotra travelling on flight number GM1109. You are requested to report at boarding gate number 07” - This was the announcement being made at the Pune airport while I was engrossed in making an express checkout on a popular e-commerce website ordering a beautiful Purple dress for my girlfriend, the delivery of which was being claimed by the website to be made in the next 60 minutes, which meant that the shipment would reach my home before I could, even when I would be travelling on that PNQ-BLR flight at a speed of around .8 mach (approximately 800+ kms./ hr.) in a B737-900ER jet with that amazing Boeing Sky Interior setup, which in itself is an amazing feature of the new generation aircrafts, of which I am a great fan as it somewhat reminds me of the aisles of The Dubai Mall which houses each of those single names I swear by.

And yes, that boarding call announcement was very much for me, and finally I boarded my flight back to home racing with the shipment while wondering if it can really reach before me!

On the weekdays I flaunt being a corporate lawyer draining all my energy by the time I reach Thursdays, but Fridays rejuvenate me for two reasons: one is obvious for all of us and the second is  me being able to throw open my voice-over-password-protected wardrobe (I am extremely possessive about it) to self to choose the best of the colours for Friday Dressing.

Now if you’re wondering, why it was so important for me to buy a dress online almost risking the chance to miss my flight, you seem to be a person of all senses in place. But here is the real story: Ashmita (I call her Ashi), a friend of mine since the 3rd standard in school, graduated in Retail Management and after working for a fashion house for almost 8 months found the entrepreneur in herself being taken by a storm for the thought of opening her own boutique, and that’s when I was hired by her, as a freelancer to merchandise her venture and get her the best(est) stock in the market at jaw dropping prices. In simple words, it meant that she wanted me to shop and haggle those bargains for her, which is primarily considered a woman’s job but I find myself totally addicted to it (don’t you get any ideas, I am perfectly a male and straight too), and I would be paid too for it. Woohoo! All hell broke loose when I could not thank her enough not because I was about to make some extra moolah than from my corporate slavery but for the sheer reason of giving me an opportunity to do what I love the most – SHOPPING! Yes, you heard that right, Absolutely Right. No questions asked, not even how much I would make, and I got myself booked on the first flight I could make myself available upon to the shopaholics’ heaven – Bangkok. I flew, landed, filtered the streets, picked-up local slang, bargained as much to the ratio of 70%, shopped to my heart’s content (so much so that the shopping bags had to be dragged to the main road to catch a cab) and gulped down a few bites quickly only after 8 hours of breakfast – all of it with a grin on my face and with no-tiring-super-charged feet, only to head back again to the market, and this time it was the Night Market in Bangkok Central.

Almost when I reached out a cab outside my restaurant which in fact was a Toyota Corolla, a sweet and 22-something damsel came running towards me (or may be the cab) yelling “Excuse Me”, and because the chivalry always has the first spot, she was definitely excused. And the next was amazing. She came as close to me when I could smell that she was wearing a Lady Million by Paco Rabbane, she said a quick “Thank You” in my face and sat in the cab telling the driver to head where I was heading! Bewildered, and with my neck inside the window of the cab and the rest of body standing outside, I exercised my fundamental right of announcing, “Excuse me, but this is my cab.”
Damsel: I’m sorry. But I really have to rush through and catch the Night Market and it may close down.
Me: Oh! Don’t worry. It remains open till 2 in the morning, and I am heading the same way, can I join (as it was my cab only) and we can go Dutch (bargain again).
Damsel (thinking): Ya. Okay.
Me: Khn k̄hạb rt̄h, tlād klāng khụ̄n, pord. (Driver, Night Market, please.)
Damsel: What was that? You know Thai?!
Me: Little Bit. I pick it up all on the go.
Damsel: Aaahan. That’s interesting. By the way, where exactly you are going?
Me: Night Market.
Damsel (surprised): For? Shopping??
Me: Yes.
Damsel: You gotta be kidding me! Men, and shopping? That too alone. No way.
Me: Why? What makes you so surprised?
Damsel: When I came running towards the cab, just before it was actually that I was persuading my boyfriend up in the hotel room to go shopping as it’s our last day here and I really wanted to put the best of this place in my closet and that man did not even move, and in turn asked me, “What’s that you get here which you don’t get back there in India?
Me: What???!!! Literally??!! I mean he really said that? How one cannot shop when in Bangkok. It’s sin, of the highest gravity.
Damsel: Yes, that’s what. The lazy lad is wants to sleep as he is tired after the safari we did today. Huh.
Me (LOL): I can understand totally your plight. Anyways, don’t spoil the mood. Let’s explore the shopaholics heaven at its best.

The cab zoom passed through the narrow Sois (Thai for ‘lanes’) and dropped us off at the marketplace’s corner to start with. The two of us screened the streets for the most amazing stuff the place had to offer us and grilled down the shopkeepers for the maximum of the discounts, just like FBI agents hunted the globe in the search of Laden. And one of the shopkeepers was smart enough not to offer us a flat 60% off, as we asked, on what he quoted but a decent 40% discount and a THB 300 coupon of his store which can be redeemed on any of our next purchases. And the smart shopper within us made its route back to his store back a precise 09 minutes and bought half a dozen of Ocean glassware by paying just 50 Bhats out of pocket and the rest by the coupon. What a deal it was! Fabulous. When the market started packing up, we headed back to the hotel half asleep in the cab but with a content smile on our faces that we shopped so much. Aah, what a feeling it is.

And then a professionally-trained-to-make-us-go-weak-in-the-knees voice of the air hostess made me awake asking for me to fasten my seat belt as the aircraft started descending to reach Bengaluru. Her Mother of Pearl Omega immediately caught my attention, and while following all the due instructions she gave me in the last 15 seconds I complimented her with: “Nice watch” which she acknowledged with a “Thank you, Sir” with that perfect smile, these girls always carry on their faces.

“Welcome to Bengaluru. The outside temperature is 20 degrees celsius. As we have left the active runway, you may now switch on your mobile phones and other electronic devices.” – this was the voice of the beautiful cabin crew in-charge and no later the cabin was buzzing with the tones of various makes of cellphones being switched on, SMSes coming and some people even on calls announcing their arrival to their near and dear ones. I too switched on my overtly priced eye-candy cell phone and the first communication received was an SMS which read: “Thank you for choosing us. Your shipment no. 310115040101 has been delivered at your address. Please remember to retain original packaging should you wish to return the product. T and C apply. Thank you for shopping with us today.” And by the time, I could have come over my disbelief that I had lost the race, the next SMS came, which was from my credit card company and read: “Your account has been credited with Rs.200/- as cashback from” I almost started jumping in joy for I did not had to even move myself an inch to buy what I wanted, at a throwaway price on which I got a further bargain, with a within-an-hour delivery promise fulfilled and a handsome amount coming to me as cashback. Is there any other presidential privilege these folks at the backend of all this business could have possibly extended to me? And the answer was NO. I was pampered, enough, already.

I made the engines of my car roar, and zipped off to my girlfriend’s place with her present gift wrapped, only to hear the customary dialogue of hers – “OMG! One more dress! Now where will I keep this? My wardrobe is already stuffed by you.” But no one ever will feel that orgasm kind of feeling one gets after shopping, which I do. With the volume of apparels, shoes, bags and what not I bought over the weekend, the grin on my face had become so prominent that my girlfriend actually interrogated me if I had a “Thai Message” done, which is making me feel so out of the world? But only I and all the other shopaholics of the world can actually understand that what it does it feel like to people who live by it and claim that “Shopping Is My CARDIO! Period.”

This post is a part of the Shop, only to Save More! activity by with at

This post is a part of the <a href="" target="_blank">Shop, only to Save More!</a> Activity by <a href="" target="_blank"></a> in association with <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.

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