To get a drift of how we got here, read this first.
On the evening we (my mother, aunt, sister and I) reached Delhi, we were determined to check out the shops for bridal wear in Karol Bagh. And thanks to the Internet and Mr. Google, we were able to find articles that told us exactly where to look.
Among the list of must visit shops in Karol Bagh, was this famous store called Anarkali Sarees, known to stock first copies of designer wear. Anything that stocked designer wear had to have some good stuff right? And because they were first copies, we assumed they would be reasonably priced (when compared to the price if the originals.) Keeping that in mind, as soon as we were done checking out Frontier Bazaar and tried our luck at the other stores that their extremely skilled and convincing salesman managed to drag us into, we had a goal that had to be achieved and nothing, absolutely nothing was going to get in the way of that.
Only we know how we've managed to keep other sales/marketing/drag-customers-into-the-store-even-if-it-means-doing-that-literally men, away. The four of us marched towards a place that seemed likely to be the one we would source my bridal lehenga from. We walked through the streets of Karol Bagh and reached the store a few minutes later; the time now being somewhere around 6:30 PM.
The four of us entered the store one after the other. Once I was inside, I could only see the length of the store from where I was standing. There were pieces of dress materials and sarees stacked neatly in shelves running up to the ceiling on the left side. Adjacent to these shelves was a seating area that was two feet above the floor and wonderfully covered by mattresses throughout the length of the shop as this is where they display the clothes oh-so-dramatically to their customers and most of the stores we went to that day had that. The extreme right of the large rectangular store was where you could walk.
When we walked in, there were already a few people in there and believe me when I say this, this is what we saw.
A nice young lady was standing on top of the mattress, draped in a lovely ink blue saree, trying out how it looked on her, while an older couple (presumably her parents) sat there quietly looking at what was going on, their faces almost expressionless. Apart from this family of three, and two other men at the cash/billing counter, there was another man in the store; lying on the mattress with one leg bent while resting his back on a pillow and balancing his body weight on his elbow making it seem like he watching mujra. The girl was looking at herself in the mirror, standing still (not even turning to get a good look at herself in the mirror) probably because she was in shock. The man lying on the mattress appeared to be giving a sermon on the saree.
“This gorgeous saree is laden with beautiful zari work that will sparkle in the light and glow...” Now he may not have said that exactly, but it was something to that effect. My sister and I immediately looked at each other and thought, ‘Mr. Loony.’ But we had work to do, so we shut up and let our Moms do the talking.
At that moment, it looked like Mr. Loony seemed to take notice that there were more people in his store and decided to pay us some attention. He asked us what we wanted to see and we told him. “Darling, it’ll take at least four hours for me to show you lehengas. It’s already past 6:30 and we’ll be closing shortly. Why don’t you come during the day tomorrow, say around twelve,” he said.
What? The next day? Around 12??? That would mean we would lose half the day!!!
“We don’t have that much time. We are here from Bombay and we have to go back tomorrow. Now’s the only time we have,” my mom said. Or was that my aunt? I don’t remember exactly.
Anyway, he seemed reluctant to even entertain us. And judging by the fact that none of the other men in the store opened their mouths, we assumed that he was the owner; an arrogant and rude one at that. It was pissing off because that’s not the way you treat a customer. It wasn’t as if we were there just ten minutes before closing time. There was more than an hour to close the store and it was simply rude to say what he did. Moreover, he didn’t budge even when we told him we were leaving the next day. My mother was furious and she stormed out of the store but not before telling him that she didn’t care for his attitude. And if he wasn’t interested in showing us what he had, we weren’t going to waste another minute in his store.
I didn’t know what to do. We were all pissed but I thought she was overreacting and I wanted to see what they had. So I decided I would stay inside when my aunt said that if they didn’t have time to show lehengas, she could check some sarees out that she needed to buy.
“I want to see some sarees, but I don’t want anything in net,” she told him.
“No darling. I am not going to show you net,” he said as if he knew that already and she didn’t have to point that out to him. Meanwhile, my mother was still furious and yelling outside the store about the ridiculousness that was that man. And she was doing it pretty loudly - loud enough for us to hear inside the store through the glass doors and probably loud enough for people shopping at the stores nearby as well. Knowing her, it could go out of hand. So I decided to go out and talk to her, try to calm her down; explain to her that we were there for our work and we had only another day to do too many things; that yelling and getting angry wasn’t going to help anyone.
While I was out there, talking to her, I obviously didn’t know what was going on inside the store while my aunt and sister were still in there. But what do I see? It had been barely two minutes since I was out there and my aunt walked out and said. “Stupid man! Let’s go!!! Nonsense!!” and my sister followed giggling after her. I was a little clueless because when I was still in there, he was ready to show her sarees. So what happened then?
THIS is why. Apparently, she didn’t like the first few sarees that he showed her. So he decided to not show her any more stuff because he wasn’t getting the “feel” that we were there to buy! What’s more, he actually said that to her.
I don’t know what gave him that impression because when my aunt asked him about the price range and they told her, she was fine with it. Maybe he just couldn’t stand the fact that someone didn’t like the collection in his store. Or maybe, just maybe, he simply has no manners. Either way, it was his loss not ours. He is the one who has lost out on business because we just bought our stuff elsewhere.
So this is just a warning for those that might intend to go there. He might have good stuff, but DO NOT enter his store if you are not prepared for someone throwing attitude or worse, if you cannot throw it back. I, for one, am never going back to his store to buy anything. EVER. But then again, there’s a difference between ‘going back’ and ‘getting back.’ ;)