Breakfast Babble: ED’s own little space on the interwebs where we gather to discuss ideas and get pumped up for the day. We judge things too. Sometimes. Always. Whatever, call it catharsis and join in people. 

One common feature between all of India’s metropolitan cities, towns, and trying-to-be-cool “smart cities” is that they all have what is considered to be the sign of PROGRESS- a Mall.

The Cliché of Cool

Indian kids who grew up on America teenage sitcoms began to think that hanging out at a mall was the height of cool. I used to be that way, too. In middle and high school, birthday parties were a much-anticipated visit to the KFC or McDonald’s at a nearby mall with “the gang.”

Now, thinking about it makes me cringe.

The Convenience Aspect

Yes, malls do have their uses- they have everything under one roof, be it shops, food joints, cinema theatres… Going to a mall to get all your shopping done in one building does make the life of a shopper significantly easier.

They also provide loads of employment to people from lower-income brackets, as sales people, cashiers, and janitors.

More of a Status Symbol

However, what I don’t like is that shopping at a mall has come to be seen as something “cool” to do, a kind of status symbol.

I personally don’t see what’s so great about riding aimlessly through the floors on strategically-placed escalators, clicking selfies against the shop facade of H&M and Zara (and other places where you don’t ACTUALLY buy anything), and ending the trip with a carcinogen-doused meal from a foreign multinational.

What happened to shopping for the LOVE of it? As someone who is quite fond of shopping, it gives me so much more satisfaction to visit a standalone shop dedicated to a particular product, or a bazaar, where I have millions of products at cheaper prices to choose from.

Read More: Debunking The Myths Around Being An Only Child

The Indian Shopping Experience

It’s also my opinion that the Indian shopping experience is killed by malls. Seeing brightly coloured fabrics, heavy silver and brass jewellery, and embroidered footwear hanging outside the stall in rows is a delight in itself, as opposed to the monotonous and mind-numbing appearance of the swanky shops in a mall.

I believe shopping is a combination of both the experience as well as the things you buy. The culture of a place comes out in its bazaars and individual shops, and as a tourist, I would get bored out of my mind to go to a new place just to visit a mall and see the same shops that exist even in the malls back home.

As someone who finds anything that apes the west irritating, I feel that malls are just another facet of modernisation that offers convenience, but also train the shopper to turn into a clone of other mall-goers throughout the world.

Image Credits: Google Images

More Recommendations:

Watch: The Musalman: World’s Only Handwritten Newspaper That Still Survives Today


  1. Well said. I feel the same. I get maximum excitement when I shop in bazaars. I feel Indian only then. Also, the open air shopping is so healthy. I feel claustrophobic in malls. You also don’t realise whether it is day or night when inside a mall. I don’t know a single person who purchases from malls. Mostly people go to malls for window shopping, maybe movies and then eateries. Of course I am from Chennai where mall culture may not be so popular yet. I remember the time when Spencers was the only Mall in Chennai. I didn’t even know what it was. Oh lost innocence!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here