Wednesday, October 6, 2010

There's something about shopping

Retail Therapy is what we call it. Monday blues, hop across to Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel, window shop, toy around with that awesome blingy handbag- what the heck- let me buy it- and voila, I am in a good mood again.

There's something about shopping that makes us happy. That makes us forget our woes and grumpiness. Instantly.

Remember the times I would tag along with my mother to New Market in Digboi and go hopping from Digboi Store to Rakshit's to the regular stop at the Society Store where Ma could buy on credit as well. She certainly seemed happy when she was out shopping.

Same with the Sunday morning ritualistic trip to Tingri haat for the  oranges, the cauliflowers, baby potatoes, fish and sometimes chicken in bamboo coops. We would be singing in the car as we drove to the haat and munching roasted peanuts on the way back. Daddy  took great pleasure in discussing his bargains with Hazarika uncle next door.

Almost all celebrations in our lives have shopping as an intrinsic part. Bihu, Durga Puja, Diwali, Onam, Christmas and so many more- we all go on a mad spree buying clothes, jewellery, gifts and come back with an empty wallet, depleted bank balance but a heart full of joy.

Sometimes I wonder- is it the  act of purchase itself that makes us happy? Or is it the feeling of bounty, of plentifulness? Or maybe it is about material acquisition? Acquiring things has always been the driving force of many things since history originated, where kingdoms were bartered, lives sacrificed... all for making our coffers overflow. It is this primievial urge to acquire that stills drives us to push ourselves at work, in life and even overflows into relationships. Most times we become slaves to this  drive.

There are so many things money can't buy. Love, relationships ( I am not too sure about this one), success, health, long term happiness. There is joy in giving as well. But I definitely don't recollect anything called Giving Therapy or Sharing Therapy to overcome our blues.

So shopping continues to be  one of the best forms of therapy and impulsive purchases  are fuelled by the choices that clamour for attention in the marketplace and the plastics in our wallet. This is what keeps the seesaw of demand  supply moving, this is what drives the GDP and all other economic measures.

This makes me feel less guilty, as I look at my bulging Anokhi shopping bag sitting coyly on the table. After all, I have contributed to the economy and yes, I am happy. Super happy.

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