Friday, October 17, 2008

Gathering crowds

It's about 4 o'clock on a Friday afternoon. Kids are just getting back from school. Mothers are rushing them through their tea and tiffin, changing them into street clothes, having them all ready by the time father comes home, slightly earlier than usual. Father will have a quick wash and then all of them will troop out, by car or two-wheeler or an auto or the bus, trying to beat a few hundred other families with similar motivations.

In a couple of hours, streets like this one (Prakasam Street, bordering Panagal Park) would have become parking lots for all the families trying to get to the shopping hotspots nearby. The Pondy Bazaar-Panagal Park-South Usman Road belt had already started filling up at 4.30. Over the next two days, the throng of people will be unimaginable, even though the wisdom is that pre-Diwali sales will be down by upto 40% over last year. It is easy to believe that figure when you think of all the doom and gloom around, but the crowds around the shops make you wonder how in the world did last year's shoppers get a toe-hold in there.

Much of this year's festival shopping may be over, but during the last weekend before Deepavali, there is bound to be a rush that waited for the rush to get over!

No comments: