Years ago someone asked me what I did all day long. Obviously in her scheme of things housewives just hung upside down on fans like sloths and did nothing at all! One of my “doing nothing jobs” entails shopping for visitors. This can be quite challenging because apart from the nationality and gender , I have absolutely no idea of who I’m shopping for! Of course the silver lining is f this is that I can buy the most generic gift possible – one that transcends nationality, gender, age and personal beliefs.
|A Christina evening bag on a Pashmina from Shenaz|
Such an open field can make shopping quite difficult but I find the Oberoi Shopping mall the most convenient shopping spot in all of Mumbai. I love its Alladin’s Cave kind of feel with its black granite walls and floors bathed in a soft yellow light, its airconditionning that is never turned off Never will you find yourself sweating in a shop because the shop keeper has turned off the airconditioning and the hustleless experience of more pedestrian shopping areas.
My favourite shop is Indian Carpets where Jitoo Pariani has the standard range of Kashmiri carpets and Indian Ring shawls. He also has a bag shop adjoining the delicatessen from where you can pick up some amazing knock offs. Of course Jitoo’s salesmen can be quite indifferent and you truly have to hunt out a bargain under all his piles of stuff because the salesmen couldn’t really be bothered whether you buy anything or not. So indifferent is this staff that this afternoon I actually found the shop unattended and could have very well left without paying a thing!!! But shop lifting is not my forte so I went to his bag shop and dragged a salesman to help me with my shopping.
Another favourite is Shehnaz with its wonderful collection of Pashminas. Truly affordable and in brilliant colours, I often land up buying one or two for myself rather than gifting them to the visitors. Shehnaz also has some lovely costume jewelry which catches your eye as you sift through the shawls.
Satya Paul’s store has been cut down by half as is his stock but if you are lucky, you can pick up a scarf or tie .Silk scarves evening bags and kurtis from Christina’s are well appreciated by an older woman. A word of caution though : while the bags are extremely well priced, they are so tiny that more often than not all that they can hold is a mobile, a very slim comb, a vial of perfume and a lipstick in a squeeze. The scarf selection can also be iffy….
Apart from these, there are lots of little shops offering a wide selection of bags at Cheemo’s, ridiculously expensive but beautiful jewellry available at Amrapalli, blingiest of blingy shoes at Gossip and its neighbour, leather coats and jackets, Kashmiri carpets and picture frames………
With such a wide variety of stuff available I find Oberoi Shopping Mall the most convenient place to shop or take my visitors to. Of course it is pricier than Colaba Causeway or Phoenix but frankly I find that Oberois very rarely disappoints. I almost always walk away with a grin on my face and a gift in my hands!
p.s. I must admit I do get distracted by the tempting smells from small refreshment counter placed strategically at the entrance and the absolutely tempting pastries and chocolates in the Deli. Thankfully their ridiculous prices make them easier to resist and I can go ahead with the task in hand rather than give into some unnecessary calorific indulgence.