Its really not that time of the year till you start hearing the music with drum beats in the late evenings accompanied with fairy lights and loads of shiny festival dresses. It is indeed the start of the festive season after the hot summer, terribly wet rainy months we had this year. So, its the change of weather to a short hot spell before it moves on to winter in November. The festivals start with the Rakhsha Bandhan, followed by Ganesh Chaturthi, Dassera, Diwali, Christmas, New Year. The numerous festivals will go on to Holi and Gudi Padwa in April. But the mild winter that we get here, where the temperature dips to a comfortable 15 to 18 degrees is the best time for these festivities. It is the time for shopping for the numerous weddings, festivals, and also the street side shopping we can do during this season.
Though our malls and supermarkets are full of standard stuff we can lift off the shelf, I purposely purchase from the multitude of small shops and the popup street stores that come up during this season.
Once upon a time, this was the prime season for the shopkeepers. But with the supermarkets and hypermarkets, their share has been cut in. The result is a dull Diwali for the local merchants. One of the downsides is the standard stuff available. How many times have you worn a shirt top and discovered atleast two more wearing the same top? This is what the small shops can help address as they normally have different stock and not too many of the same shirt top in different sizes.
All the fairy lights I put up for Diwali, the diyas, rangoli and its paraphernalia are sourced from the roadside vendors. Everything is not gloom and doom for the shopkeepers. To counter the mall invasion, I have seen some of the shopkeepers coming up with innovative schemes. We had multiple grocery stores opposite our housing society. Before the malls came in, they were all pretty much similar. With the advent of malls, when they started losing customers, one of them started to pack and stock groceries like in the malls. So, it maintained the hygiene factor of the stores and easily available across the road. Then a couple of years later, the other shops closed down for lack of customers. This shopkeeper, changed the layout of his shop to be like a supermarket. People could then walk around and just pick up stuff they wanted. Further, he began to keep packagings of 250gm which is not available in the malls. He also computerised his cash counter. But then he saw that people who had to purchase just one or two items had to wait in queue for a long time and they would sometimes leave without purchasing. It was irritating for me as well. The shop keeper came up with an innovative idea to add a monitor to the cash counter which would enable them to run two instances of their cash counter software. Thus the one item guy need not wait in line. He would just pay and leave. This shop is still going strong and I don’t think the malls can beat him any time soon with his home delivery and credit schemes. It reminded me of the Nokia story where the owner had cried that he closed down his 100+ year family business. He said, ‘We didn’t do anything wrong, but we lost”.
Being in a comfortable position does not mean, we should stop learning or stop changing. As the popular saying goes, ‘The only thing that is permanent is change.’ How many things have changed since the time we grew up in the 80s-90s and now? There are no more typewriters, Personal electronic diaries, pagers (we had thought it was the best technology at the time), Video cassette players, Audio cassettes, floppy disks. Life changes, people change, things change faster. Whatever you see today will be history in a few years.
What are the few things you feel will become obsolete or outdated and useless soon?
I received this tag from Shalini at ShalzMojo Blog. It’s my pleasure to pass on this tag to Ramya at Fantastic Feathers. There are 38 of us on this Blog Hop and it will be spread over 3 days – 4, 5, 6 October 2019. Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and prepare to be wowed!