India Uncut

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Monday, May 09, 2005

Catching the 9.30 am local

The In Orbit Mall in Malad, a place where I enjoy hanging out on weekday evenings, gets frighteningly crowded on weekends. Last night I went over there to see a film, and it was like being at Churchgate or Dadar station at peak hour. People crowded near escalators as if they were getting into a fast train to work. It was manic, and loud, and hot. A large number of the people were clearly there just to hang out, and not to buy anything – but what is wrong in that?

At some point, I suspect, the mall will decide to think of crowd control measures. The Crossroads mall at Tardeo had run into controversy some years ago when they allowed entry only to people with credit cards or mobile phones, thus proving their purchasing power, though not demonstrating their intent. Will In Orbit take recourse to something similar? I hope not. It is private property, and the owners have a right to set whatever rules they want for entry, but however manic and loud and hot it gets on weekends, it is also lively and cheerful.

In any case, when it starts getting a bit too much, people will begin to stay away at peak hours. (For unlike commuting, they have some choice in the matter.) The mall will then find its own equilibrium. And that is as it should be.
amit varma, 4:23 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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