Chennai bristles with shopping activity on two occasions –the first when annual discounts are announced by shops big and small for their wares(read saris) and a few days before Deepavali when Chennaiites don’t mind picking up saris at their original rates.
Come April and we see women in their eighties limping into a popular store in Mylapore tightly clasping their grand childrens’ hands and younger women clad in chiffons and crepes and some dressed in Salwar kamiz jostling their way to get a foot hold in the crowded shop. Almost all of them emerge with large packets in hand sporting a very contented smile.
The auto drivers also eagerly wait for this time of the year as they believe in making hay when the sun shines. Heard them demanding exorbitant fares and the shoppers weighed under their purchase trying to haggle but in vain. ‘Amma, it is difficult for you to carry all that weight and walk to find another Auto.You might as well get into mine and pay what I asked which is very reasonable,’ is the drivers’ refrain and expectedly they have the final word.
There is the other side too because the men who normally take their evening walk in the park nearby find it cumbersome to cross the stretch between the shop and the park as they have to wade through milling crowds!
n.meera raghavendra rao