Observing the people in a mall
Observing the people in a mall
Man is gradually moving towards riches, privacy and illness
Keen observation is one of the prominent ways to perceive and understand the world around. It’s observation of nature, people and daily life which imparts us with most important lessons in life. I would like to elucidate what I observed in a shopping mall around 15 kilometres away from where I live. I have visited that mall almost twice every month for last two years. And what I observed in due course of time over there is that man is gradually moving towards richness, privacy and illness.
The mall comprises several small and big stores of branded clothes, footwear and apparels, jewellery, electronic goods and daily-use commodities. Apart from these, there are at least a dozen eateries, coffee shops and drink/juice bars. Needless to mention, there is ample scope of playing video games and other fun sports like basketball, table tennis, bowling alley and snooker. The mall is spread across a widespread area; there’s a lot of open space where one can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee along with keeping an eye over visitors to the place. Painted in white and silver with strands of blue and red at places, the mall looks very elegant and stylish. When good appearance is merged with so many facilities and fun to avail, it is inevitable to be a famous spot for people in the locality. I have been visiting there for last three years. And I did observe some poignant changes in people over the last three years.
The time when this mall was opened in the vicinity, there were several visitors flooding it. Teenagers hanging around with each other, families coming to have a get-together and friends visiting to spend good time with each other- most people came here with the motive of enjoying. There were shops of big brands for accessories and dress at that time as well. But fewer people shopped there as it was way too expensive for most of the visitors. No doubt, there was a good crowd at the eateries at that time. Similarly, there was a huge crowd at the gaming corners. People preferred to play games like tennis, basketball and bowling. Kids loved to play video games. Women were usually gathered at the accessories stores. The open space where people sit for coffee and juice was very much crowded with families and couples. While the adults used to eat in restrictions- avoiding fats and sweets, the children used to run around with cotton candies and packets of chips in hand.
As time passed, an improvement in the standard of living was evitable. The expensive brand outlets which earlier used to be rather empty are now having regular visitors. Both men and women are happily engrossed in shopping. And clearly noticeable, there is a hike in sale of clothes labelled as large and extra-large. Obesity is spreading its wings over both children and adults. There has been a sharp dip in the number of players in the mini basketball game, table tennis and snooker. Most of them either play videogame or watch the kids play such games. The open sitting area- there is either a group of young couples sharing coffee or group of youngsters sitting together yet busy in their own cell phones. The old concept of hanging around is getting lost gradually with every individual busy in him/herself with Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. About those few families who still come here for a visit, now along with adults it’s the children too who are being restricted from eating chips, burgers and cold drinks. As diabetes and obesity are now firming their grip over young children, parents want to keep them in restricted diet.
The crowd at eateries is just as it was earlier- jam-packed. People have grown aware but have no control over diet. As a result, one sees more of overweight and weak people around. I don’t isolate myself from this crowd. I too should take care of my health. So should everyone! But the life at present has changed significantly in terms of quality.
One of the things which have changed significantly over time is the human interaction. In these three years, there is a considerable reduction in people who come to visit the mall in groups and actually behave like a part of group. Everyone is busy either talking over cell-phone, with earphones or headphones with music isolating them from the rest of world. Families no longer come together to celebrate time together as it does not seem ‘cool’ to them. Mall might seem a place for commercial transactions but if one observes deeply, it very well shows how people are having greater capacity to buy, lesser time to share with folks and an unhealthier body to live with. Alcoholic drinks and fatty snacks have overpowered healthy fruit juices and sandwiches over time. Social life has been replaced by social networking.
I cannot skip mentioning that in last three years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of cars around the mall. The parking lot gets filled up in minutes. Unlike three years ago, there are very less cycles around. No wonder most people have the capacity to buy cars but why don’t they understand that small distances should be covered by walking or cycling only.
In conclusion, my regular visit to this mall has made me realise many changes that came over people and me as well, over the last three years. Internet on one hand has simplified making money at home and enabled people to shop online comfortably. On the
other hand, it has kept people absorbed addictively to sites like Facebook and YouTube. Instead of spending time in outdoor activities or with family, a person prefers being online to
connect virtually. And health- who can deny that world is getting unhealthier with its lifestyle. Least movements and more of junk food have given us a weakened digestion and feeble immunity. Just observe the local shops, malls, parks and public places around! It would become easy to see how man is gradually moving towards riches, privacy and illness.