Saturday, September 17, 2011

Shopping Observations in Kerala.

Shopping is one of the favorite words and activities of the fairer sex. There's no denying this fact. Lack of patience, being unproductive and the feeling of wasting your time (and eventually money) is what men hate the most (I guess - No wait, I am sure). Hence, it's always fun (for others) to watch a couple shopping.

I went shopping with my better-half in Kerala.


Now, before you jump to any conclusions, let me tell you that this post is based purely on my observations and is not my personal experience. Not that it will make any difference, but still.

When you go shopping with your wife (or your girlfriend, whichever is applicable in your case) and especially when it's during a festival, you always have 2 options: one is to support your partner through thick and thin and try to understand the difference between a pink colored clothing and a slightly - and I mean slightly - light pink colored clothing!! Option 2 would be to be a little rational and understanding and let her take control of her core competence. It's her territory - don't interfere!! Option 2 gives you an opportunity to sit back and observe people and the patterns in which they shop. And that's where this blog was born.

During festivals, Onam - in my case, retailers have an interesting strategy to literally force people to shop till they drop. They introduce what we can as a "lucky draw" system. This is how it works - for every Rs 500/- (for example) you will be getting one ticket. You have to fill up the ticket and keep it in the drop-box. Now, to increase your chances to win the prize, you have to have more tickets, which you will get if you buy more from this shop. This translates into more sales for retailers, more hope for shoppers but only 3 lucky winners. Simple?

I was waiting near the payment counter. I saw one family paying their bills and based on the amount, they got some tickets. After filling all the details, they went towards the drop-box. That's when they met another family (relative, maybe). They asked about the lucky draw tickets and this family, somewhat embarrassed, mentioned this process as a formality and that they never go for such lucky draws. Just a few minutes ago, the family was very particular about filling the correct details and rechecking everything. The family I observed were very interested in the draw, but they didn't want to show it in front of others. 

This observation sums up the shortcuts people want to take to fulfill all their desires. And you can't blame them, can you? The lucky draw system is such. Everyone wants to take shortcuts in life, but no one wants to show it. Eventually, when you turn 50, you will boast about all the trials you faced to reach where you are, but you won't mention the places where you were just plain lucky - being there at the right place at the right time!!

Anyways, when my turn came to pay the bills, I got some tickets myself. I (carefully) filled up the form and submitted it, hoping against hope that none of my relatives were around. So much for observations and commenting about others!!


  1. hehe. abt ur 2 options- altho d secn one may b easier to handle, d frst one wil help u buy time even if it is jus by displayin ur ignorance n dat way ur wife may nt find d schedule wide enuf to shop for more had u nt confused or annoyed her in d frst place. streamlines ur bills. tadaaa!
    uhh makes sens?

  2. Hey Sadiya... Your idea is the other side of the story.. And I agree with it... The 2 options I mentioned are double edged swords !! :D
    It streamlines your bill... hmm... nice idea :)

  3. Well, if you really love your lady, let her shop!!! :) What else I can say as a women!
    BTW, I have seen people winning in such draws on Diwali in north...

  4. @Saru: Thats exactly what I did... And even I have seen ppl winning.. but none from my relatives' side.. :)

  5. better late than never, happy to have landed here. a nice way to portray the experience! you won a new follower :)

    i missed my onam this time :( cudn visit my hometown!

  6. Hey Anil, thanks for reading buddy !! :)

  7. I watched on a Malayalam TV channel that even some fish sellers have started the lucky coupon business. One coupon for a purchase of Rs50. Next what? Ration shops giving coupons?

  8. If there's something that works, all the allied industry players will adopt it... May hay while the sun shines, they say :D

  9. Haha! This post truly tickles the topic on "lottery". People are so delusional with short cuts winnings in life, they often forget the "actual" price that is being paid in return for this unknown winnings. Not everyone is lucky to win. Especially me.

    BTW, thanks for dropping in my blog.

  10. Hey Kiran... thanks for reading buddy :) We all fall in the trap of lottery one way or the other :P

  11. nice observation and post

    thanks for sharing


  12. Belated Onam wishes to you too Krishna :)

  13. gsf sucked anyways...and n the lucky draws....who cares,actually?

  14. @Nikhimenon: Did you participate in the festival? And you might not find it interesting, but there's an audience for it, and that's why we have it year on year.. Cheers..


All yours..

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