Tag Archives: Mantri Mall

Shopping…old school and the modern way.


One of the oldest and most ceremonial form of shopping in India is sari shopping. Having just read a great book on the subject, called The Sari Shop, it was particularly interested to head to a Sari shop with my mom. She was looking to buy sari fabric to turn into curtains. My yoga moms have encouraged me to buy a sari before I leave. But I just don’t think I would have an occasion to wear one in the States.


The colors and designs on saris are beautiful and can be overwhelming. The design of a sari shop is not for browsing independently. The saris are stacked in a way that you can only really see them if you have the attendants lay them out for you on the mattresses. Often women sit on the mattresses as well, but this shop also had chairs. Choosing the right sari can take hours, usually with a friend or family member helping to advise. And it involves continuous asking of help to bring down sample after sample.

In contrast, to old school shopping, Bangalore also has better modern shopping than we have back home. Right before our trip up North, I had to bring the kids on a journey to Mantri Mall the mega mall to buy Carson some shoes. The place was packed with people on Good Friday, because apparently most of India gets the holiday off–even though Bangalore has few Christians. We don’t even get the holiday off in the States so the crowds were unexpected!


Bangalore’s fancy malls have far more amenities and much better shopping than our mall back home. Above, the kids love playing virtual reality games in these colorful pods. While waiting for them I looked out the window six stories below to see a maze of autorickshaws zigzagging down the street.

Our main reason for coming to the mall is because Carson had broken his Crocs the night before playing soccer out in our courtyard with his buddies.  The Croc store at this mall is massive and nothing like we have near State College back home!

Carson picked out red crocs with flames along the sides, and a complementary metal jibbit!

Outside a bookstore we found a trampoline. A woman tried to put a two year old baby on the trampoline at the same time as Kaden was jumping. I had a fit! So unsafe for that little baby and to have more than two kids of any size jumping on such a small trampoline is so dangerous! Especially without any walls or a soft surface for landing. But once we got off, we turned around and six Indian kiddos were jumping at the same time. Sigh.

Every outing these days seems to end with ice cream, and especially Swensen’s ice crem


Musings from the mall


The kids still didn’t have school on Monday, which has a perfect time to head back to Mantri Square Mall, the largest mall in India (NOT a place to visit on the weekends!). On our way to the mall, we stopped to pick up our package at the local “post office.” Todd had mailed this package about 3 weeks ago and it was filled with much wished for items such as applesauce, the new Oprah magazine, and WWE stickers. Unlike the big city post office with the pots of paste from a few weeks ago, our local post office is one man sitting behind a small table in a very small room, with mail scattered about the floor.

And here was the condition of our package. Looks like a dog had a delightful mean of applesauce. And then a photo of the  kiddos waiting outside of the post office.


Then it was off to the mall. One of the craziest things in this mall are the escalator security guards. They stand at the top and bottom of EVERY escalator and blow a whistle at you if you try to walk up the escalators. I have been whistled many times and it took quite a while before I realized that I was the focus of the whistle! The use of whistles and horns are very common here.

We had lunch at Subway. In addition to many of the traditional sandwiches from home (Carson had his usual ham, cheese and tomato), they offer local specialties as well, including chicken tikka, chicken tandoori and the every present “aloo patty”–kind of like a hash brown.  Many of the condiments are the same, but no ketchup is served and instead you can order black pepper yogurt or mint mayoniase dressing. Also, you’ll notice that they have two counters to separate vegetarian and non-vegetarian preparation (veg and non-veg is how it is spoken here).


Looking at the shop windows, I also continue to be fascinated by norms of decency for women here.  Modesty is a huge issue, and indeed if a woman is assaulted the first question is what was she wearing or doing to incite the assault? It is the woman’s responsibility to act and dress in ways that keep men away. So, clothing is much looser here. Shoulders are usually covered and shorts are non existent (or at least go down to the knee to what we would call capris). Even when exercising, I wear capri length exercise clothes in this hot weather and never tank tops.  And yet, when a woman wears a sari, it is fine for her stomach to be hanging out all over the place in ways that would be perceived as inappropriate in the U.S. , especially in formal settings.  The first photo is of a woman’s back view. The side view is the same, but the sari does cover the front. The mannequins are a bit more scantily clad than is common but I still found what is covered and not covered to be fascinating.


Let’s talk toilets again since it has been a topic of extreme interest for many of my U.S. friends!  These are photos of toilets in two fancy places–first is this mall and second is the Movenpick hotel. You will notice that both provide bidet options, meaning, you are expected to wash your privates with water as a part of your toilet process.  Interestingly with the left toilet is that there was only one common toilet roll out by the sinks, but each toilet had a very fancy bidet. Kaden looked at the toilet and pressed the bidet button, which caused a strong stream of water to shoot straight out and hit the door behind her. Note to travelers: sit DOWN before pressing the button!  I have come to find many uses for the hand-held bidet, which can be found next to all of our toilets at our house. For example, it is great for spraying down dusty feet (remember the shower drain is just a part of the floor in the bathrooms). And I even washed Carson’s hair in the sink the other day with the spray nozzle!


The kids had some fun at the mall, including playing 3-D video games in these space-aged pods. Note again, in the final photo–FOUR guys were working this game. In the U.S. there would only be one. The service was really helpful. When the 3-D wasn’t working properly, there was a guy waiting right there to be of service! I will be spoiled by all the personal assistance here.


We also went to the arcade and even bowled a game! Kaden was very frustrated though to learn that they don’t have the bumpers here. So we had lots of gutter balls!