Looking forward for changes #WordsMatter

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! 

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16 Comments Add yours

  1. Balaka says:

    I echo your sentiment. I am also fond of street-side shops. Most of my daily wear clothes are picked up from street vendors of Bandra, Lokhandwala or else Kolkata. I love Kolkata as there I get more street hawkers than Mumbai, therefore every year during my visits I pick up everything I can put my hands on from Kolkata hawkers. The area where I live there most Kirana stores have turned into supermarkets. I prefer buying from them but my husband prefers the malls.
    The one thing that I feel would soon become outdated are desktop and laptops.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lata Sunil says:

      I could do with extinction of the laptop. Too heavy ..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Vinitha says:

    That’s a smart shopkeeper. If we are not keeping a lookout for the changes that are invading our space soon we all will become obsolete. Floppy discs were a huge part of our college days – all the projects and seminars were saved in them and submitted safely. Now they are gathering cobwebs back in my home somewhere – who knew!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kalaravi16 says:

    I share your view on the big malls eating up small timers Lata. I too try to visit the street vendors and kirana shops for many of my requirements. The experience is so much more personal and gratifying that I don’t mind paying a bit more.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved the way you have woven change and progress into the theme. It is true, that you need to cange and adapt with time.If you don’t bend, you will break.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Modern Gypsy says:

    Kudos to the shopkeeper for innovating. I also prefer to buy from small shops or if I order online, from makers and crafters themselves. I prefer supporting small businesses rather than forking over my money to the large corporates all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Shalzmojo says:

    Well this is one talented guy for sure as he has read not just the pulse of his market but the customers too. Great innovative ways to retain loyalty and footfall.

    I agree with you about the mall invasion killing the festivals for the roadside vendors. Here in Gurgaon, these vendors stay for 12 months a year and have a load of traffic to their stalls as they offer some neat bargains. Their variety is also pretty stunning to say the least.

    I have stopped indulging in any of the festivities as I am on a trip to reduce garbage thats generated by me. So no buys of diyas, toarans, etc but I do make a rangoli with flowers and thats the only bit I indulge in. I re-use the diyas etc everywhere so have a stash that I bought 6 years ago. Still going strong and I guess if I am careful they will last more.

    Wish you a very happy festive season Lata 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some very wise words Lata.Things change to survive in a new way I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jyothi says:

    I am totally impressed with this shopkeeper. We need to learn lessons from him about moving on and ahead with life! Embrace changes as they come and mould them to suit our own style! Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Unishta says:

    Yes there is nothing more certain in life than change . Apart from technology our society is changing as is the climate ….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Obsessivemom says:

    The new place I’ve shifted to has no small shops around though we do have a mall right next door. I miss them ever so sorely. Maybe it’s I who’s old fashioned but I love the personal touch they bring to my shopping. It’ll be a long long while before they get redundant. I love the instances you gave of the ways they are changing – how smart are they!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Esha says:

    Well said, Lata! I can see this happen with our neighbourhood kirana stores and I realise how few people actually come to buy from them because the supermarket down the road claims most of the customers.
    As for what I think will get obsolete, I think it will be our phones, the technology we use, even things like social media platforms, for instance, will all be gone someday!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. pragya.bhatt says:

    Ditto for the shopping for curios from small businesses! I always feel they are more innovative and creative. Kind of inspirational for us!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Parul Thakur says:

    You are so right, Lata. The kirana guy is the perfect example of how changes can make us improvize. I buy from super markets, online stores but I also make a run to my local kirana guys. I like that they are friendly, know me and save things for me even when I am late. A great post, Lata. Thanks for joining, #WordsMatter!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This shopkeeper is a great example to all of us. We can sit around and bemoan change or find a way to reinvent ourselves and move forward. Very thought provoking, Lata.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have never been to Mumbai so I do not know anything about how the city functions and I get a glimpse into it through your post. It is saddening when small businesses have to shut down due to malls and mega-malls opening up. Things change, circumstances change, the environment changes, technology upgrades and so on. We cannot do much about it except for accepting it.

    Liked by 1 person

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