Considering the gravitational pull under a cozy blanket in winters, I compulsively put two alarms to make sure that I jump out of bed before time. My coffeemaker, washing machine and microwave were conveniently put on timer the night before as I didn't want to venture out late the next morning.
The wait for the first extended weekend of the year had been tempting. Come January and my weary eyes would forage newspapers first thing in the morning for something that is called 'bait' in a husband's language and a 'wise bargain' in a wife's. Yes, it's the bugle for all those shopaholics, sale freaks and discount maniacs. End-of-season sale, stock clearance, Republic Day offers, winter sale and combo offers sound so therapeutic.
January welcomes shoppers with ardour and warmth. The year is new, and new is the yearning to overstuff our closets yet again. Be it wall-sized banners, decorations, display or hospitality, all undergo an overhaul to comfort shoppers.
Ranging from on-call babysitters, exotic hospitality, kids' recreation centre, gaming and bowling for kids and 'grown-up kids' (husbands), the shopping malls take care of everything. Newspapers virtually become menu cards with every column, page, corner and section screaming aloud like street hawkers, luring their prey.
Last weekend, as I set out for some 'need-based' shopping in the city's mall, I thought how stupid it was to miss this buzz in markets during these times of the year. Try rooms, fitting rooms, cash counters, checkpoints, shelves, carts and shopping bags are found blooming with youthfulness. Those pleasing salesmen, welcoming price tags and smooth trolleys helped me put my money to use. After I had packed a huge pile of 'anticipated necessities', I couldn't resist picking up a nice fluffy, furry woolen coat. It was my size, my colour, my choice and seemed as if it was just waiting for me, camouflaged in the corner, saving itself from the eyes of others. I instantly had a liking for it.
Then I dragged myself more than the trolley towards the cash counter. While fishing some discounted knick-knacks, I happily saw the cashier billing my items at discounted rates except one. My arched eyebrows and barging eyeballs made him double-check it only to announce that the item was among the fresh and exclusive stock.
For my husband, it was just a consequence of the customer behavioural study done by markets before sales to tempt buyers. But to me it seemed that the discounts on my bill had conveniently compensated for my prized possession: an exclusive, classy fur coat. Yes, that's ladies' way of looking at it.