Sunday, April 12, 2009

Confessions of a compulsive shopper

As you grow up, you evolve as a person; for instance the same boybands that you adored as a teenager seem to be silly and affected a couple of years later, the mushy teenflicks you devoured in the 8th standard make your stomach churn by the time you reach college and the tall, dark handsome heroes of Mills and Boons who made you go weak in the knees give way to the imperfect modern day Dev D… so yeah, evolution does exist!

And this post is about my evolution as a shopper. Now I have always been a compulsive shopper, but over the years, the objects of obsession have varied widely. My earliest memories as a shopper go as far back as the 3rd standard (at that time I was yet to discover the magic of clothes shopping) when I would lose myself for hours in a bookshop and buy whatever Satyajit Ray and Enid Blyton books that I could lay my hands on. This was followed by hours and hours of shopping in the annual Kolkata bookfair where I would sacrifice all my savings for the last one year and borrow the rest from my much annoyed mom. For the next seven years, this ritual continued, though my reading habits changed considerably. The next obsession was music and in those days we were yet to discover computers, pirated CDs, file sharing, U Tube and free music download and so I actually spent money on buying cassettes of my favourite rock bands. Come on, I was in high school and I had to keep up with the guys or else risk being with the girls. So yeah, I shopped for “the very best of” collections of U2, Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Gary Moore, Eric Clapton, Aerosmith, Metallica, GNR, Scorpions etc etc. And then, and then my foreign trips happened! In a span of two years I hopped across Muscat, Singapore, London, Amsterdam and Bangkok, I was enamored by the mall culture, I was fascinated by the wide range of clothing right in front of my eyes which I can just pick up and try on without asking anybody, without having to explain to the sales girls, without having to go through piles of T shirts before I find the right size. And by the time I was a college girl in Mumbai I was firmly hooked! I saved up on books (borrowing from the library, friends or making dad buy them), and music (getting my tech savvy friends to download free music from the net), movies (no multiplexes, strictly shady single screen theatres), transport (I walked my way through college) and food (less I spent on eating meant more for that extra pair of jeans, and a couple of pounds less for me to fit into that extra small black top), I saved up on tuitions and I bought second hand text books which I again sold off after clearing the exams! So all that saved money was sacrificed at the altar of Westside, Pantaloons, Globus, Fab India, Central or even the streets of Crawford market, Colaba Causeway, Linking Road or Fashion Street especially during the sale season which will find me alone on the streets with a jhola shopping for hours! And the worst thing about clothes shopping is that it invites trouble in the form of accessories (so I also have this huge collection of junk jewelry), shoes (yes, I don’t need three pairs of Osho chappals but I have them all the same) and other unexplainable things that I have in my closet which I have never used (flowery dresses, scarfs, bandanas, so on so forth). My latest objects of affection are my new Titan Raga watch, Polaroid shades and the Escada perfume strategically placed on the table so that I see them first thing in the morning after I wake up.

PS: I NEVER liked boybands or teen flicks or Mills & Boons… so my evolution has been limited to shopping (from books, to music, to clothes to shoes to junk jewelry to accessories)

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