Walking into the mall with my son is nothing to write about. But when it is on an Indiblogger invite to visit the new Reliance Digital store at R City Mall, Ghatkopar, it turns into a blog post! Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I rarely participate in contests, and the only reason I signed up for this one was because I was anyway going to the mall, and thought I would try out what kind of an experience it would be.
Let me begin then, at the very beginning, when I stepped into the mall, with no idea of where the store was. It had been months since I had been there, and with the ever changing store scene, always have a hard time finding the store I want to get to. This time, I entered to find a huge banner pointing me to the Reliance Digital Store. I might have been thrilled to find the store so soon, but Samhith surely wasn’t. My going around in circles in the mall usually leads to us buying all kinds of unwanted things, which this easily located store deprived him of!
Once inside, we had to wait, since there was just one guy handling the blogger programme, and he was already busy with a bunch. There were a few others waiting around too, and I was tempted to go up and ask if they were bloggers, but then Samhith discovered the camera section and I was hard put to contain his enthusiasm in choosing which camera we should buy next.
The big plus about the store is the variety of products and their easy accessibility. We didn’t really need any help as we tried out the different cameras and discussed the advantages of a Nikon D5200 over a Canon EOS 60D, all based on the information provided next to the cameras. Of course, we then turned more practical and ruminated over whether Samhith’s first camera should be a Nikon or a Canon or a Sony, and when he could get it.
Tearing him away from the camera section was tough, but then we came to the TV section, where the new Samsung Smart TVs caught his attention, and held it for quite a while. Realising that the longer I let him get hooked, the sooner I would have to buy myself a bigger house, I dragged him away and let him loose among the mobiles, iPads and Tabs. Then, of course, there was no dragging him away. Meanwhile, I did a bit of drooling of my own over the gadgets and the accessories, mentally trying to decide how to convince Shankar into getting me an iPad, or at least a Samsung Galaxy Tab!
Meanwhile, our co-ordinator - who turned out to be the Manager of Retail Operations - seemed to be free, so a couple of us grabbed him while we still could, and he gave us a brief idea of what the Reliance Digital concept was all about. He reiterated the emphasis of the store on easy accessibility and complete experience, which we were happy to tell him that we already had a firsthand experience of!
He was also extremely apologetic about making us wait, and mentioned that a number of bloggers had turned up at the same time, leaving them shorthanded. I was surprised to hear that, since I had no idea there were so many bloggers in my area! Had I been alone, I would have taken the opportunity of getting to know some of them, but Samhith is a force to be reckoned with, especially in a shop full of gadgets, and I wasn’t able to take my eyes off him.
A special note here to Indiblogger – Please arrange more such area based blogger programmes. They are so much easier than travelling across half the city, and there is a much better chance of bumping into bloggers from our own area too!
By the time we were ready to leave, the manager came up to us again. It appeared there was some confusion about the ‘Goodie Bag’ they were supposed to hand us. While most of us were under the impression that the gifts were to be given to us after we wrote the blog post, apparently, a few had asked about the gifts, and they were now confused about whether to hand them over or not! Eventually, they asked us for ID proof, and took our addresses, email, and phone numbers and promised to get in touch with us. We walked away from the store, satiated with our share of the window shopping for the day!
Meanwhile, I had arranged to meet my sister, who works nearby, and we proceeded to the food court for the bit of hogging that marks the end of every mall visit.
However, our visit wasn’t quite over... yet! I got a call from the manager of the store, asking if I was still in the mall, and if I could come over for a minute once more. I first thought this was for a photograph which he had mentioned, and politely refused. But when he requested me once again to come over for a minute, I agreed, and, on our way out, stopped by the store once more. Imagine my surprise, then, when he handed over an iPod Shuffle!!! I protested, saying that the email from Indiblogger had mentioned the gift only for those who submitted the blog post, but apparently, in the time we had been gone, they had decided to hand over the gadgets to those who arrived, and we were (I think) the first!
I have no idea of the reason for the change of mind, but there is one thing to be said about it. They made one 10 year old kid really happy!!! I had taken him along, with strict instructions, that I wasn’t buying him anything, and he had kept to our pact, not insisting on any purchase, so you can imagine how thrilled he was, to find ourselves the owners of our first apple gadget!!!