One of the downsides of living in Hiranandani is the lack of viable options. Strange, isn’t it, because given the array of restaurants, pizza joints, snack bars, not one, but TWO department stores as well as a food court and a mall, you would think I am spoilt for choice. But NO, the sad truth is most of these places are sickeningly expensive and I thoroughly miss my no-frills kirana store which used to offer instant home delivery and grocery/vegetables/fruits were still available at reasonable prices or the dhaba where you could afford a sumptuous dinner and not be broke. And now, I feel lost in the posh neighbourhood of Hiranandani, almost like a gay man in a strip club: so many alternatives, and yet practically impossible!
If that isn’t bad enough, these department stores play mindgames with me, trying to dictate what I should consume or how much I should consume, pretty much like my boss. For instance, for something as simple as say buying tomatoes, I need to buy a full kilo of it, because the store refuses to sell in lesser denominations. And since I don’t cook that often, a part of it invariably gets wasted. Or take Kurkure. I stack up on the Masala flavour for my midnight snack to go with the Euro. But no, the store will conspire against me, and ONLY sell the inedible Tomato flavour. But the worst is when they purposely do away with the cheaper version of the curd I like, forcing me to buy a more exotic, creamier flavour, which is a full TWO BUCKS more expensive. It’s not about the extra two bucks, but I DO NOT (I repeat, DO NOT) want the store to decide whether I should or shouldn’t have more cream. Give me both options, and let ME choose.
And of course, buying Alphonso mangoes is now a distant fantasy, even more unrealistic than my OTHER fantasy, i.e. growing my hair like Rapunzel and letting Prince Charming climb up it.
But I LOVE mangoes; it’s been my favourite fruit since childhood, when we had a mango tree in our garden…