Nikhilesh at ‘Splash’

For the uninitiated, ‘Splash’ is a store (part of the Landmark Group, the $2.5 billion retail conglomerate in the Middle east….aha...the MBA touch aka “I can Google very well”) on MG Road that has a lot of international clothing lines, the only two which I recognized were U.S.Polo and Bossini…and other brands that must be real big.

A friend and I went on a shopping spree over the weekend to take full benefits of all the super sales going around town. Well, considering the number of shops we went to, I’m not sure if it qualifies as a spree. For me, buying more than one article of clothing is a spree. So, we’re going to refer to this day as a shopping spree. Towards the end, we ended up at Splash. One needs to note that this is the first time I am entering this store. Like a young lion(or chimpanzee) bred in captivity, being released into the wild, I trudged in with caution. Splash is not the kind of store I would normally visit. We did read earlier that the only party wear I own is a new ‘red shirt’ and an old ‘blue shirt’.

Anyway, we enter Splash. I must say, this is the most fun I have had standing around a store and not buying anything. I was having a stand up comic running sketches in my head. OMG. For starters, the place reminded me of an Asian paints showroom. All those colours. Being a fairly boring person when it comes to clothes, I’m used to blacks, blues, reds,whites, and the occasional green. Even this is 3 colours more than what the average male considers as a colour. This place was something. The same dress design is lined up in only what can be described as a colour pencil set. Starts with white and moves on to shades of pink, then orange, red, yellow….and goes on and on. (Please do not correct me saying that the colour I saw was ‘scarlet’ and the other one was ‘mauve’…we all know, it’s ‘Leviooooosa’ not ‘Leviosaaaa’. ) I look around, friend clearly notices that the wheels in my head are turning at a pace that I’m not quite used to. This is indicated by the Grinch like smile on my face….friend chooses to ignore. That’s when I start with the silly questions.

First, I notice this dress that looks like a jump suit, or something the guys in Ghostbusters wore, except that it has got floral prints. Turns out, that’s fashion. For whom? Lady plumbers? No, actual normal women. Go figure! I could only imagine someone jumping off a high storey building and being able to glide to safety in that dress. Something like Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider 2. My friend pulls out this shirt from a lot, and for some odd reason asked my opinion. My observation, “What size is that?” It was apparently a large. I thought it best not to be uncouth and say something like,” Dudette, that’s as big as my hand-kerchief”. I feel really sorry for larger girls who will never be able to fit into that shirt, no matter how good it may look. Sisters, I share your pain. Most of the clothes there resemble what one would buy at a baby shop. I even saw sweaters and jackets that really don’t seem to serve the primary purpose of covering up from the cold.

The height of jokes running in my head was when I saw this purse with so many tassels, that it reminded me of a cowgirl in a “religious movie”….yeehaw! Apparently, people do buy that sort of thing. Sensing that I was quite clearly of no use in having a decent opinion, my friend told me to go off and check out the men’s section. They had one???? I could not tell the difference with all the purples and light pinks with a satin sort of finish. And not to mention the bling. There were t-shirts…for men….straight men…with bling on them. The only 3 types of bling a man must wear are:

(1) The ring of power forged in the fires of Mount Doom (The ‘Lord of the Rings’ ring)
(2) The Green Lantern ring
(3) The Iron Man suit

I see no other reason for a man to wear bling. But that was all I saw. What’s insulting is that they stop at ‘L’ size. I don’t think anyone there has heard of the concept of ‘XXL’. The only wearable shirt was in the U.S.Polo section. I know, you women think I’m some sort of a philistine. That may be so. I almost bought two shirts with the exact same design, but in different colours at another store. My friend shops at Splash, she would not allow it. The “Go ahead and buy that if you want” was enough for me to pick another design.

Somewhere in all this, yours truly had a sort of Eureka moment. (No, there was no running stark-naked through the store). I think I may have understood why women take so long to shop and maybe even to dress up. You gals have choices. When you walk into a store, like the one I walked into, you have something like 30 different colours of the same dress, and each is of subtle difference in shade as it progresses up the light spectrum. The only thing that comes close is Baskin Robbins with their 31 flavours of Ice cream. I may be wrong on this, but we men don’t have very many colours we can wear without standing out in a crowd. And that’s not always a good thing. Now assuming that you girls found “THE” colour, there is a question of size, and fit and so many parameters that I’ll have to write a program on an IBM super computer to match them all. Plus there is the problem of competition from other women, where you can’t be seen wearing the exact same dress design with the exact same colour bought at the exact same store .Just thinking of it gave me a near concussion.

If you think I’m being patronizing and am mocking women, I’m not. Here’s how I was able to relate to this problem of choosing. I underwent the exact same trauma a few months ago when I bought the PS3. “Xbox 360 with Kinect” v/s “PS3 with Move”. I nearly died trying to choose. There were so many pros and cons. All my friends had Xbox, but PS3 was a better console, Xbox had ‘Halo’ while PS3 had ‘God of War’. Xbox had a media center, but PS3 could play Blu-Ray discs. Do you see what is happening here? I was so torn as to what to choose. So if there is anyone out there who gets what the big deal about shopping is, it’s probably me. How do you people do it? All those colours.

And also, you guys wear this shawl type thing which is called a ‘Stole’. You buy a ‘stole’ at a discount sale where almost 70% of the price is knocked off, it’s a ‘steal’. See….I can’t make bad jokes with the clothe types we men have. We have full-sleeve shirts, half-sleeve shirts, T-shirts, trousers, shorts and bermudas. I can only make triangle jokes with Bermudas.

Anyway, closing statements are in order after that verbal diarrhea. Imagine the live feed running in my head when I was actually in the store. If there was a server running twitter feeds in my head, oh boy it would have crashed. Two times over. I do sympathize with men who have to wait on women who shop, but guys, it’s not their fault. They just have way too many choices presented to them. While this is indeed a red letter day in terms of shopping for me, I do hope I learn enough about woman’s shopping before I am expected to have a proper opinion and not have a Russell Peters meet Jeff Dunham show running in my head. I’m not very good at holding back silly thoughts in my head….hence this blog.