She told me to meet her at Bandra, Hill road, the big shopping area of Mumbai. One month from now is her marriage and she has not yet purchased her wedding gown. We go to this boutique at Hill road. The sales girl switches on the shop lights and AC as we enter the store. In the times like these, salesgirls are instructed by their boss to sit in heat and dark unless the client enters the store. She is quite pleased with our entry, happy that she will have somebody to chat and enjoy few moments of light and cool air.
There are bright-colored-stone-sequined- clothes on the rack for display. There are brocade saris, salvar-suits, ghagra- cholis. I assure her that this store has reasonable rates and that other well-known designers with branded labels have crazy rates. She believes me and follows me as I sift through the clothes on the rack, one by one.
There are two dresses that she likes a lot. One is the Gagra choli and other is chooridar set. I ask her to try it onto know the fitting. She wants to know the price, its forty-two grand in INR. She is hesitant. She finds the futility of spending too much money for one-day wear. She prefers to save the cash for a rainy day instead. Maybe for a trip abroad? I tell her that she will be somebody special on that day and its one-day affair of her lifetime and she must look her best. She relents and picks up both the sets and enters the trial room.
She has well shaped body with just the right curves. Both the dresses suit her and do justice, the color and the style, both are perfect. But she finds the price is too expensive. I inform the salesgirl that we are undecided and would like to visit some more stores before we can narrow our search. The salesgirl understands our plight. She quotes her last price lowered by three more grand to guarantee our return. We exit.
We visit few more stores, still confused.