Why you should not enter a mall from an unfamiliar entrance

Last week (or the week before, or perhaps the week before that) I decided to go to one of the malls near my house, because (a) I hadn’t been there for some time (the fact that I’ve never been to the mall right beside this one is irrelevant), and (b) I wanted to buy something.

Now this mall — like most others I suppose — has multiple entrances, plus since it’s still rather new, new ones seem to keep opening up every time I visit. So my dad, sister and I reached the mall and found ourselves outside a new entrance. Dad was all “Noooo, let’s enter from the other side, I’ll get all disoriented this way!” while I rolled my eyes and walked in.

The first sign that something wasn’t quite right was the absence of Om Book Shop from the first floor (this was actually the second sign, the first being the lack of stalls on the ground floor, but I didn’t attribute that to anything fishy). I mean, come on, a bookstore can’t just vanish! More disconcertingly, I realized that couldn’t even pinpoint exactly where on the first floor it had been. All I remembered were the big glass doors with “Upto 90% SALE!” written on them.

After circuiting the floor twice, I finally realized that the bookstore wasn’t going to just appear from nowhere, so I directed myself to the second floor.

And there it was, inexplicably right in front of me, big glass doors and all! Granted, it was much smaller and the bookshelves were of a better quality of wood, but that hardly seems to explain how it got there.

I shrugged and went in.

And found myself once again wishing that bookstores had some kind of advanced book-locating technology. You know, the kind where you type the name of the book in a computer think of a book and the corresponding shelf lights up. It can’t be that hard, can it? Anyway, I had to satisfy myself by turning my neck sideways and peering at names of books till I could find none of the ones I wanted to buy, and all the ones I wanted to read (edit: the first is obviously a subset of the second). I finally went to the dude at the counter and rattled off about ten titles (you try telling him to look for Gödel, Escher, Bach). All the books I mentioned were out of stock. I mean, seriously.

Then I spotted some Tintins. I reached towards them and—

—saw that they were in Hindi.

When did this even happen? Though now I vaguely remember one of my friends telling me that Snowy’s name is Natkhat in the Hindi version. Yeeah, Natkhat.

There wasn’t much to it after that. After the bookshop debacle, I was subsequently betrayed by two music stores, as well as Subway’s Sub of the Day.

I suppose I shouldn’t have rolled my eyes like that in the beginning.