The place looks like a mini-jungle of two-footed men and women – shout, jostle, furtive looks, nonchalance all combined for good measure. It’s the place where customers are helped, pushed away in a corner that comes on the right just as you get inside the main entrance at Big Bazaar, Hiland Park.
This Sunday evening (yesterday) there is no way you can be decently heard at the ‘Customer Help’. A lady in tears is hysterically shouting at the shop employees manning the counter because she has just lost Rs.12000 cash and her mobile from her jute handbag that has been neatly cut open with a sharp blade.
But she is not the only looser there. Before her a gentleman has reported having lost his mobile set too and is standing there, hoping for some reprieve. Ahead of the melee on all sides shoppers are busy selecting their items blissfully unaware of the happenings of theft.
On their part the harassed staff are constantly announcing to safe-keep personal belongings. To whom? No one appears to be listening. But for sure their ears are cocked to the other frequent announcements about fabulous offers for purchases that must be availed in this evening.
Machinelike the crowd moves from one offer to another to make the best use of supposedly low prices and freebies. The nearly 20 counters in all for accepting payment have snaky queues covering almost half the hall.
Back to ‘Customer Help’, I shove my valuables deep inside side pocket while valiantly trying to invite attention of the staff. I have my own sob story. The groceries that were home-delivered couple of hours back do not have certain items for which payment has been made.
This is not the first time this has happened with buying at Big Bazaar, but certainly the first time that so many items go missing which we discover after the delivery at home.
Fifteen minutes have passed and I haven’t been able to get the staff hear my woes despite shouting at the top of my voice accompanied by all the gestures I could command. I then decide to call it a day because it is fruitless to talk reason to a wall of mammoth footfall and buying frenzy.
If seeing is believing I’ve no reason to doubt why the retail majors are making beeline to the city to open outlets at the earliest. I’ve been to other metros but nowhere did I witness such a huge surge of shopaholic buyers crowding the malls every single evening.
No wonder that one of Pantaloon’s city shops is said to have recorded the highest single-day sale in the entire country exceeding Rs.1 crore last puja.