For the size of our population, we seem to have a disproportionate number of malls in Gurgaon – about 25 large ones and many smaller shopping complexes
It is well-documented that most Gurugram citizens usually spend their time in one of three places.
First two are either places of work or home and the third is what we know as our malls, but for the purpose of this article, I will call it a ‘social space’.
It is a similar connotation that you’ll soon realize. A social space is historically defined through certain attributes.
These include accessibility, regular utility, where one can go easily and can spend large stretches of time without spending too much money, which is known as the ‘Leveler’ in this context.
Till now, you’re with me in terms of the connotation sticking to our idea of malls. Now, I’ll talk on the big point of difference.
The idea of shopping malls became popular in the late 1950s in the United States of America when suburbs of emerging cities found a shortage of public spaces like parks and markets.
A similar outlook was also created in our country when cities like Gurgaon started coming up at a really fast pace. The concept of closed shopping malls served the purpose of creating a third space for the residents of the area to socialize and make merry.
Ironically, the shopping became an afterthought to the process of mingling with new people and enjoying with family. However, somewhere along the lines, in a time way before it got to our dear city, the trend morphed somewhat.
From family-oriented gatherings, the mall became a narrow commercial venture with the growth of the young working class and the increasing idealization of an individualistic society.
Sadly, we never got to see the first part of the story. Here, malls became a status symbol immediately , not just for the residents, but even for the many businesses that had to hop on to the bandwagon in desire for more profits.
It was the business angle of the entity that convinced the people of its utility, rather than the original social aspect of it. Gurgaon is the city of malls and you and I are a part of the same narrative that has been discussed here.
We visit malls, either alone or in groups, committed to a purpose of some utility like shopping or eating out. Tunnel visioned in our perspective, we never seek to notice the new things that happen outside our purview. We don’t know what we are missing, and it’s hidden in plain sight.
So, here’s a tip that might make you next trip to one of the malls in gurgaon more fun.
Take 10 minutes off your time at any of the malls/centers like Galleria or cyber hub that you’ll be going to some time.
Notice the people around you and try to see what they do.
Try to start a conversation, maybe use your mutual purpose of coming to that place as an icebreaker.
Get to know that person’s story through a fun chat.
You’ll be richer for the experience and the place will have achieved its true purpose.
And share your #MallStories here – We will only be too happy to publish them 🙂