Trapped in the World of Consumerism

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A new month has just begun, and I have been busy preparing a list of items that need to be purchased for my regular monthly outing called grocery shopping. I plan for D-Day when I can trundle through the aisles of my favourite hypermarket and pick up all the items I need and don’t need.
As I enter the commercial haven and view scores of shoppers jostling around with their trolleys, a strange sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) sets in for no reason. Should I rush to the section where rice, sugar and other daily essentials are kept, just in case the best of the lot is already over, or should I rush to the soaps and detergents section to be the first one to pick the new detergent in the market that claims to wash away the latest virus that’s in the air.

These commercial hypermarkets serve as a battleground for international brands and trigger a battle in our minds between our psyche and value system. Now I know that I don’t need to pluck tulsi and other herbs to make a concoction that will cure my cough, but I need to open my special tea can and make a tea for myself. I know now that I don’t have to spend my mornings cooking steamed Idlis; instead, I need to pop out a few multigrain biscuits that are supposedly made up of all the grains that are possibly good for us and pack them into the lunchbox. I know now that dirt is good, as some detergents suggest, and shampoos seem to ask me if a life without smooth, silky hair is worth it.

As I finished this jolly good cart ride around the store, I reached the long queue at the billing counter. This long wait takes at least ten minutes, but thankfully, the market has ensured that some small items placed around the billing queue can attract my idle mind and eyes and will not make a big difference in cost to my already bloated bill. So yes, I do not think a lot, and I pop that chocolate with a sparkling cover into the cart and that teeny-weeny notepad that god knows what I will use for, but I could not resist because they were just cute looking.

And true to its name, the checkout counters ensure that we exit with a lighter heart, with the serene feeling that (we) have all that is required supposedly for the time being and an even more lightweight wallet, both e-wallet and physical wallet.

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