Grand Diwali Mela: Web-Window Shopping


I went for Google’s virtual Grand Diwali Mela today.

I heard of Google’s grand Diwali mela (fair) from a friend and I was totally fascinated with the idea and decided to take a tour of it; exactly like the ones I went to as a kid— food stalls, game corners, cosmetics, music, the only thing new this time was that the mela was virtual.

The tour got me thinking of how the virtual has completely taken over our real lives. Some may argue in favour of it, while others prefer the real thing. Surely, there are benefits to both the real and the virtual. Many argue that virtual saves up a lot of time and that is considered to be one of the moving factors benefitting the virtual at an age when “time is money”.

Further with environmental and health concerns like the ones posed by air borne viruses, many find it safer to take a tour of the virtual. Other things that matter are safety and security from sexual predators, kidnappers and even muggers who run lose in crowded areas as melas and carnivals; but one of the most important factors that is driving the virtual forward is the virtual itself. People these are completely immersed in the web world; the cyber world completely controls the lives of people, almost like an addiction. It has happened even with me as well, I open my Facebook and I am constantly fed with advertisements that seem luring to my cravings and I can’t help but open innumerable online shopping portals and scroll through the products available, like window (web) shopping. I usually don’t end up ordering anything, but just scanning through the clothes and accessories is like a treat to the eyes.

However, real is something I not only miss, but completely enjoy; be it mere shopping or a grand Diwali mela. There is nothing more fascinating than seeing clowns and the circus in the Diwali fairs, taking a daring ride in the giant wheel and a nauseating swing in the “Columbus”. Devouring the dust-consumed snacks, and shooting the balloons and killing the rat for a gift toy cannot replace any kind of gift voucher cards handed to me by the virtual stalls.

The experiences in the real and the virtual are completely different, and both may come with each of their pros and cons. But what the real can give is an experience, as the term suggests, REAL. The virtual definitely feels as real when the orders that have been placed reaches our doorsteps too, but the experience is marred with a lust for only the material order and not for the real tour of the shopping complex or the fair.

However, to conclude, the virtual may never replace the real but oh boy, how amazingly satisfying is the web-window shopping!

Pallavi Sharma

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