Crowded lines encapsulate the gigantic rectangular “shopping home” that puzzled my friends and me. We were visiting a strange new place in India, a place infamously known as “IKEA.”
A new addition to Indian home furnishing, IKEA opened in Hyderabad on Aug. 9. On the first day itself, “40,000 shoppers” showed up, leading to extensive “two-hour-long queues just to get inside.”
Luckily, when our school’s MUN delegation went there, we entered relatively freely, contributing to the “20,000” average daily customers that visit the lifestyle furniture store.
Inside the store were booths and stations of different home furnishings: sofas, beds, tables, and chairs to name a few. Some were even listed to be on sale. Excited by the equipment, we tested it out, often sitting and lying down on various beds and chairs. We even filled one of the large shopping carts — with a ninth grader — giddily pushing it around the well-lit aisles. The guards said nothing.
Lost in the comfort of the budget lifestyle, one student that accompanied me said, “This is like a retirement home in Hyderabad.”
Indeed, it was. Not only were there household products, but there was even a cafeteria, in which one could buy drinks and snacks (but unfortunately for the carnivores in our group, no Swedish meatballs). There was even a kids section, where stuffed toys and other crafts were for sale.
The most exciting part of this escapade, however, was the fact that there were hundreds of people surging to and fro the different departments of the building.
Sooner or later, however, one starts to feel sandwiched between so many people on a constant move.
Before we knew it, we were back at the exit again, surrounded by the twinkling lights of Hyderabad without a single yellow shopping bag among us.
Photos by Dhrubhagat Singh
Edited by Rohan Menezes