This week, I stepped out to buy an outfit for a family function next month. I was quite excited, as I was visiting a shopping mall after a gap of nearly eight months. I enjoy a shopping expedition even normally, but due to this long, Corona-induced abstinence, I was determined to savor every moment of it.
The good news is that maintaining social distancing was not an issue. At all. The mall was practically deserted. This pic is of Sunday afternoon.
In normal times, you sometimes have to queue up to enter the mall on a Sunday. Considering that the festive season has begun with Dushehra just around the corner, the mall would have been teeming with people in a normal year. Shops in the mall would have been vying with each other to offer bigger, better sales. In some of the busiest showrooms, you would have been elbowing your way through the crowd to get at the dress you had your eyes on.
In contrast, no one entered the mall at least till ten minutes after I entered. I could see some visitors scattered here or there, all masked and sanitized. But I had a feeling that if you would line up all the mall employees and the customers, the employees would far outnumber the customers. This, even though the malls have been open for over two months now.
How are these businesses even managing? They must be facing huge losses just to keep the showrooms open.
I glanced into the food court, and only two or three tables were occupied. After I had made my purchase, I went to the Ladies’ restroom on the top floor and found it locked. Only the restrooms on the lower floors were kept functional, possibly to minimize on operational costs.
The corridor leading to the multiplex was empty, only the personnel who check tickets were around. This was still expected, as cinemas had opened only two days earlier.
It was all quite sad and depressing.
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