Ashish Jagtiani is the name he was born with, though that is a bit of an urban legend. He goes by the name of Jaggu, a very popular name across the airwaves. Dry, dark and lucid would describe him aptly, where one can only hope that one is not on the receiving end of that unholy trio.
There are people in this city who do their best to avoid the mall. They can’t handle the excess, the crowd, the selection and the risk of going mad swiping the card. These people should think about shifting to Burkina Faso. What is Dubai without its malls. You can’t ignore them, so embrace them.
The majority of the population does exactly that. The malls then become an ecosystem of their own and hence have their own species. These are some that I have discovered, and maybe a couple that I’ve invented. Keep in mind that there are only a few people who are there to actually shop.
Stock takers: This is usually a high net worth individual. They shop across the world and online too. Discounts are not their game plan, nor is shopping locally as it turns out. They are in the mall for peace of mind. They need to inspect every shop window to ascertain that they already own the best of what’s on offer. Their confident stride belies the chant going on in their
head ‘Got that, got that too, got that even before it hit the store.’ A discernible stopping short and flustered expression is noticed on the rare occasion when they find something exquisite they don’t already own. Many phone calls and much credit card swiping follows.
Viewers: They are there for sightseeing too, but not of shop windows. It’s people rather; what they are wearing, and what’s new in fashion. Do I look better than that doll in the miniskirt? Are my jeans skinnier and my hairstyle sharper than that studmuffin? This variety is there to feed either their egos or their insecurities.
Net worth calculators: The equation is simple, what percentage of items in the mall can they afford. We’re not talking jeans and shoes here, we’re talking jewellers and luxury watches. They can go home satisfied with the knowledge that they can buy out the mall if they wish to. But if that Van Cleef necklace is a little beyond budget, they’re looking at a sleepless night.
Parking masochists: It’s Friday evening, the mall is packed, there’s a line waiting to get into the parking lot. So of course, one must drive in expecting parking near the main entrance on the ground floor. Not available? How can that be? We will double park and wait till a spot magically materialises. Let it take an hour if need be, but upon my word, I shall not park beyond 20 feet of the elevator. Move that Bentley, my Sunny needs to park.
Food courters: This lot does not leave for dinner having pre-decided the cuisine they want to eat. There is a certain flamboyance in getting to the mall and taking a snap decision about what they would like. Life is about going with the flow. Then they take a round of the food court, scratch their head for twenty minutes and without fail, land up eating at KFC.
Bathroom surveyors: The one thing mall charts don’t usually show are the toilets. This type fills the gap. They know exactly in which secluded corner of every mall the least used, cleanest, freshest smelling loo
Movie plus: The intention is clear: They’re going to watch a movie. The consequences are multiple. They must shop for stuff they didn’t know they needed, snack away, return calls, take a nap, stop for coffee, ask the security guard inane questions. Consequently, a two hour movie takes five hours to watch. Then they wonder where the time went.
Sales specialists: This is the crowd that isn’t here to shop for stuff, but shop for sales. They will pop their head into a shop looking for the sale sign, they can spot a discount from fifty yards. It’s not about buying what they need, it’s about buying at the lowest possible price. The need will arise at some point in the distant future surely.
Surveyors: Those with a discerning eye and sharp mental calculators. They are not here to shop, they are here to figure what they want so they can source it from another place or online at a cheaper price. To them, the mall is one big display window. See here, buy somewhere else.
Reaction sampling: How do you know the reaction you will get to a new outfit? If you wear it to a fancy event and it doesn’t look good, then it’s too late. Simple, wear it to the mall first. Test for reactions. Are jaws dropping or eyebrows raising? Are heads falling over heels or are children pointing and sniggering? Don’t find out at the big event, better to test drive the look at the mall first.
Frankly, I can identify myself in a few of these. The question is, which one are you?