Despite newspaper reports about the acrobatics involved in shopping for Diwali in T.Nagar which is considered a shoppers’ paradise, we ventured to go ahead.
Our first stop was Nallis where car parking is provided. We expected to jostle through milling crowds but were slightly disappointed at the lack of excitement the experience would have provided. The counters too looked almost bare and we were happy the sarees stacked on the shelves were clearly visible even from a distance. When we expressed our surprise at the absence of crowds, the salesman said we were lucky in that we chose the right time to visit the shop and he also enlightened us regarding the shopping pattern of Chennaites. ‘People normally come to shop after having an early lunch and completing chores for the day. They eat tiffin in a hotel before returning home. Again there are some who have a late lunch at home and after shopping have tiffin in the evening at a restaurant. But the majority who come with their men folk in the evening dine out after finishing their purchases’. The shopping pattern of Chennaiites so thoroughly studied by the elderly salesman won our admiration and we enjoyed the singular attention we got in the shop (We congratulated ourselves for avoiding the peak hour, both in terms of traffic and crowds) Just then I noticed young mothers dressed in salwars and sarees dragging their reluctant children and the older women who appeared to accompany them carrying babies and their paraphernalia. They all leisurely passed from one counter to another, scrutinizing every fabric and design and nothing appeared to have met with their approval. As we were on our way out I could hear one of the young women who appeared annoyed with her little son say ‘how can you feel hungry so soon ? haven’t you had a good lunch at home? Wait till we go to Saravana Bhavan to have tiffin.’
Our next stop was Sundari Silks where we found the security partial towards owner driven cars when it came to parking in their premises. (Taxis and chauffer driven cars find no place here). This shop too had very few people trickling in and we knew the reason for it. Though we were offered coffee here, we were tempted to head towards SB which appeared more crowded than the shops we visited notwithstanding the time of the day!
n.meera raghavendra rao