Saturday, November 19, 2011

Why Women shop?

The Holiday Season is nearing and malls are full of attractive deals. Guess what, this is the time when women go berserk with their shopping sprees! The mannequins are egging them on to come in, take a peek, and if successful, leave with tons of bags.

So, what is with women and shopping? Is it some kind of disorder or just an innate trait? Though you may like to believe so, it is not because they want to splurge and waste your money. There are much deeper reasons to this hobby, addiction, whatever you may like to call it. Whatever the reason, most women have a special bond with shopping and their husbands and children are tired of it. For the benefit of these suffering souls, I have taken it upon myself to make them understand the way women think, so that they can put up with this 'bare necessity' of women! And hopefully, find a better way out of it, rather than sulking.
So, to all the men, here comes my feeble attempt at deciphering what goes on in a woman's head, when she is shopping:

1. Games equals adrenalin rush equals finding awesome deals
Do you remember the time, you were playing Call of Duty, and you were so awesome at it and kept clearing one tough step after another? Think of that great surge of adrenalin rush through your body! Didn't it feel great, like you were on top of the world? That is exactly how women feel, when they find unbelievable deals on the most beautiful stuff. And the deals are not limited to just shoes or clothes or accessories, but everything that can be bought in a shop. Ask a woman how it feels to buy a pair of gorgeous sandals for 99 cents, and she will be so elated, you would have to calm her down to actually hear something discernible from her. It is like achieving new heights. And it is not just the beauty of the sandals, but the fact that she found great value for money, that makes it more special. So, the next time, your wife or girlfriend is jumping up and down with joy, have a rerun of the time you cleared all stages of the toughest video game and you would know exactly how she is feeling at that time.

2. What do you do when everything is going wrong?
Women shop, when everything around them is falling apart, because it is their resort from all things evil. The world of shopping takes you away from reality and puts you in a place where there is glitter, color, shine and pleasure. And you don't actually have to buy anything or spend even a dime for this. The joy from window shopping is equivalent to the joy from actual shopping. I have heard a lot of people say that shopping is therapeutic for women. What it really means is that when everything is gloomy and you see no hope, you need that silver lining. That is where shops and malls step up and translocate women to a place where there all things bright and beautiful. It may not be a permanent solution, but it gives the brain that small time out, that it needs to start thinking clearly.

3. Men have high self-esteems
Men might have a beer-belly, they could be unkempt, but it doesn't seem to affect their high self-esteem. On the other hand, the outward appearance for women is an indicator of their esteem quotient. Put a woman inside a perfectly fitting, pretty dress and look at her confidence. It does wonders for her self-image. And unlike men, women give a lot of importance to what others think too. So, if she hears wonderful compliments for what she is wearing, it makes her ecstatic and boosts her confidence drastically. You could link this to the need of women to be acceptable all the time.

4. Everybody needs change
When women need a change, they change their wardrobe! As to how cost-effective it is, is a different question. Everybody needs some kind of change, and changing clothes is like being a different you for a little while. I keep telling my husband "Please wear something else apart from your same old black T-shirt", because I get tired of looking at the same clothes everyday. Let's face it, we cannot change personalities everyday, so what is the easiest way to get a change, being a different you externally, but sticking to your guns within.

5. Men bond over sports, women over shoes
If women have to survive in a group, they need a considerable knowledge of the retail industry. And by that I don't mean the stats of how well the industry is doing, that unforunately does not interest us. But, just plain and simple, what shop sells what the best. It is not like we do not talk about anything else. But eventually, when the important stuff is out of the way,we come to the really important stuff - where did you find that great purse, where you got your oh-so pretty, yet comfortable shoes? Put a bunch of really powerful CEO type women in a room, and once the business is dealt with, you would still see them bonding over great retail info.

6. Women notice what other women wear
This is the worst af the lot. It is women who enable the shopping by other women. Every woman thinks that every other woman notices what she wears and so, doesn't like to repeat her clothes. And not repeating clothes, in front of your friends or even with you coworkers, who you see so often, is just impossible. But, women shop in hope of not having to wear the same thing with the same group of people.

7. How great it feels to be Santa!
If people think women just shop for themselves, it is not true. Women have the same enthusiasm to shop for anybody else, as they do for themselves. And gifting such wonderful things that people like, makes them feel like Santa. And who doesn't want to be Santa Claus, the person so loved by everyone? Using their good choice and great experience, to make someone happy is their way of doing good deeds and spreading smiles.

Now you can decide for yourself, whether it is womens' vanity or is it just their crazy way of finding pleasure. Whatever it is that you conclude, you still have to be around them! So know them, accept it, and move on :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What's your festival?

One of my friends recently posed a question to me as to why Indians celebrate Non-Indian festivals, that are pretty much alien to them. He was bothered by the fact that instead of spreading the message through our festivals, we were trying to adopt practices not innate to us. If you think of it, it is so true that most of the urban festivals celebrated by modern India did not originate in our country, nor do they bear any religious significance. Then why do we make such a big deal about April Fool's Day, Friendship Day, Valentine's Day and numerous other such days? The biggest irony is that even though the Hindu calendar has it's own unique date for a new year, it is not celebrated with as much as zeal as 1st January.

What is it with us? Are we giving up our culture to adopt something new and irrelevant to us? The answer would be 'No', because it is not like we fail to celebrate our festivals with the same energy. Maybe the smaller festivals are not celebrated with as much as hoopla, but the major ones definitely are. So, what are we trying to do? Do as the world does and make a place for ourselves? Again, I don't think so.

The problem with us Indians is that we love festivities and celebrations of all sorts. Face it, our weddings themselves are like 5-day long festivals! No matter what the reason, we find a way to celebrate. India wins the World Cup, we are out on the streets with drums, fireworks and dancing, some other pious followers arrange for ceremonies to thank God for being there with the team and heralding success for it. Even a normal sport becomes a festival for us. For a country that has almost a 100 festivals a year, spanning a variety of religions apart from Hinduism, like Islam, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity and Zorastrianism; it is not a surprise that we love colour, gaiety, and joy. And we find it any which way we can.

Living in America, it is amusing to see how easily Indians have taken to American festivals as well. I guess we believe in doing as the Romans do, or in this case, Americans. We have adopted the exaggerated fun from Halloween and the cheer from Christmas. All we want is one more day to add to our long list of festivals. Indians are that way very easily adaptable. We take up the customs and practices very quickly. As long as it fulfills the purpose of refreshing your mind.

After all, isn't that why festivals were introduced in the first place? Ganesh Chaturthi was popularized so that people could come together to interact and experience the community feeling. Sankarant was introduced so the farming community could celebrate the harvest season. All along, if you notice, the common thread is the reprieve that, being with friends and family brings to you. It is a way to give your mind and body a change from the mundane and be dazzled by the little joys that such gatherings flag on.

If that is the case, what is the harm in spreading the joy and cheer? If the festivities make you happy, why not celebrate life and it's blessings every day? You may address each festival differently, but if you strip it of it's intricacies, it is nothing but a way to get the brain to release more endorphins. What would be wrong is, if you completely abandoned your heritage, and tried to mimic something just to fit in. The old and new should go hand in hand, and that would surely be a celebration, a celebration of life and its different meanings!

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