Growing up, we had one mantra that fuelled our nuclear family: “To miss the joy is to miss all”.
We lived for glorious moments, being very jubilant for small things. Every shopping escapade struck a chord in our hearts and from memory, these were unforgettable moments.
I remember one such escapade that stirred me. This childhood story polished me into the person I am today. It was the laughter that rose to the ceiling and the hopes that flourished that makes this particular shopping escapade memorable.
Having been a book enthusiast with a knack for success, I was among the top students in my class. The finals were around the corner and these were nationwide exams. They would determine the crown of the jewel and put me on a pedestal for my career. It was from this prospect that new ambitions were born. My benevolent aunt promised me a brand-new phone with the ultimatum being that my name would be among the top students.
I marvelled at the possibilities of this. Diligently, I worked to the top. And lo and behold! My aunt from the city drove down, eager to fulfill her promise. It was a grand announcement. We were exhilarated that we would be going for shopping for an exquisite item and be the muse of others. We did not even know what phones were in the market. Because back then, phones were a relic. A monument that was to be upheld by the chosen few. So, this was clearly surreal for us.
We had made up our minds that we would go to the nearest mall. We did not want to reduce the magnitude of such an exuberant moment. Or feel lousy when asked, “You bought your first phone from the local shop?”. Armed with a palate for class and eagerness, we left for the mall.
You should have seen the compounding joy that profoundly illuminated. We were deeply lodged in the shops. Truly curious about the latest models and the features displayed. We loved how they explained the phone specifications delicately. How the dummies were lovingly showcased and treated like real phones. How the personnel at the shops spoke the language of the phones without a single stutter.
Everything was beautifully organized. Some sophisticated shops invited you with elegant colognes. For the same phones elsewhere, these had a markup of 100 dollars. I guess it spoke of elegance and prestige from the polished shops. So, my siblings and I vowed that we were one with the malls. That we would sacredly cling on the joy of shopping from the towering buildings that had earlier on baffled us. We were not alone. People shuffled with buoyant smiles telling of their successful shopping sprees. From floor to floor and phone to phone, we explored. We trudged along faithfully and peered at the magnificent devices with fascination. I was fascinated by the depth of it all. That we enjoyed the process of walking, stopping, looking, enquiring, and, jotting down.
Nonetheless, after about two hours of window shopping and being impressed by the array of phones, we had to make up our minds. Although I would be the primary custodian of the phone, this was a tantamount decision.
We finally settled for one incredible phone. A slide phone from the renowned Samsung! That was a magnificent spectacle. We could not hide our joy. All we knew was that we had the coolest device in town and everybody in the waiting queue was predisposed to our marvel. As my aunt paid and obtained a warrantee for the same, I could not help wonder if we would be allowed to go with our phones to heaven. With a leap in our springs, we left for the car for the unboxing of the treasured gem.
What lay before our eyes was in every way enchanting. The slick phone had a metallic lustre that shone with majestic splendour. The slide element was beautifully done. This would elevate us as awe-inspiring. The art of sliding it up to pick a call and down to end the call was in every way phenomenal. And so were the features inside. We were thrilled by the Paris Hilton game that came with the phone. We took turns playing all the while mimicking the stunning celebrity.
The joy that that one item brought in our household was unfathomable. We were proud owners of a slide phone and every family member would borrow the treasure for an event. That childhood story remains etched in my memory. The fact that it was accompanied by an exceptional shopping spree elevated it further.
We celebrated our mantra in leaps and bounds. We did not miss an ounce of joy and lived through every living moment. This nostalgic experience makes it through my bucket list every year. To derive sheer joy from shopping, big or small is a huge part of me that I cannot refute.