Shopping sorties

It may be the derrire of someone, giving a shock of their life.

One of the amusing things to watch in life is the way women-folks shop at our armed forces canteen. Really it’s an entertaining experience to see them go berserk with their unbridled shopping spirit.

It all begins with the nabbing of a hand-push trolley, which is indeed a monumental task, especially during weekends, wherein the canteen is thronged by shoppers from military families.

Last Saturday when I was at our RSI canteen, I scared the daylights out of an army officer, by literally stalking him from canteen to the car-park area. Later on, I had to demystify the situation; by explaining to him I was rather after his trolley, which he was pushing with canteen purchases piled on it. Of course, there are times when we have managed without trolleys too. After all, having stayed at times in ramshackle accommodations with all rickety furniture, we have become veritable ’dadas’ when it comes to improvising. So, when there is drought for trolleys, a new plastic bucket/tub transforms into our makeshift trolley.

And once we are armed with it, lo, like a raging bull, we charge towards the canteen counters. Interestingly, you find all kinds of women shoppers here in our canteen. One type is that of impulsive and compulsive buyers, who recklessly keep buying things that they cast eyes on, even such things which mayn’t find its use in lifetime. Thanks to subsidised prices. The other kind is that finicky lot, who with squinted eyes, singular focus and surplus patience, keep scrutinising the shelf life of each product, before shoving it inside their shopping cart.

Yet another kind are those who get so stupefied looking at so many things that without buying a single thing, they simply keep swanning around in circles, as though in a stupor, sailing in some surrealistic world. They look so dazed that they don’t even notice/hear their friends, hollering a ‘hi’ at them. You see them dreamily going about in canteen, hitting ‘something or other’ with their trolleys. The ‘casualty’ could be anything. It may be the derrière of someone, giving a shock of their life. It could be the canteen shelves, in the process, knocking down a couple of products, precariously perching on one another. Or, it could be the trolley itself of someone else, making them reel back with lurch.

Once, I myself was so preoccupied with something else, as I strode near the section that stockpiled stacks of men’s underwear. Presuming my spouse was stringing me behind, I whispered “Do you wanna buy more undies”? “No” I heard someone say, which didn’t sound like the sonorous baritone that my husband has. I instantly turned around to see some other naval officer grinning widely. Squirming at the faux pas, I hastily scooted off from there without turning behind. Talk of women’s amusing and asinine ways of shopping!     

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