Weekend was here... Saturday evening .... what could be more ideal than to spend some time at a local mall and eat out too! (I know there are better ways, but blame it on a brain freeze and lack of ideas).
We (the husband, wife, baby and grandma) decided to visit Oasis mall on the Inner ring road (near Sony World Junction in Koramangala) which houses Lifestyle, SPAR, Max and some other stores.
The journey started with the torture of weaving through Bangalore's narrow roads and haphazard traffic combined with the weekend evening madness. After a lot of traffic lights, honks and speed breakers we reached close to the mall and the woes of a weekend-mall-goer began -
1. There were autos and cars parked on the left side of the road just before the entry to the mall (it is supposed to be a no parking zone). As a result all the vehicles that wanted to enter the mall had to disrupt traffic and butt in right to overtake these stationary autos and cars. There was no traffic cop or mall security to clear up the unmoving traffic.
2. Then began the looonnng queue to park. If you have been to this mall you will know that the transit from one level to the other is difficult, badly planned (who was the architect here?) and very irritating (because you are made to go up around 5 to 6 levels and wait on 45 degree ramps). We saw quite a few drivers backing up at every turn and then driving up the curves.
3. As if the upward journey wasn't enough once we reached the top we were made to wait till a parking spot became available which was about 10 minutes. The guy in front of us had been waiting for 10 minutes already. There were a row of cars behind us including some standing on the awkwardly angled ramp. There was no coordination between the parking attendant on the top floor and his counterparts on the other floors. So the staff on the ground floor had no clue that the terrace parking space had run out and they kept on sending cars to the top floor.
4. Enter the mall and search for a restroom - they are tucked away into one stinking corner. Dirty, smelly, wet and leaking is how they can be described best. There was not even an effort being made made to clean them. Hygiene was at its worst!
5. The way out of the mall isn't great either. Cars were backed up till the 4th floor and it took 30 minutes to reach the ticket collection point on the ground floor. What we thought was a delay because of cars merging with traffic on the main road was a result of inefficient service at the ticket collection booth. The guy was taking his own sweet time - least bothered about the cars backed up till the top floor. Had they been more sensitive and organised they would have employed 2 to 3 people to speed up the ticket collection process. This was sheer callousness on their part.
It is hard to believe that this is one of the newest malls in the city and it lacks space management and good services. This experience has definitely taken this mall off our weekend-to-go places.
UPDATE - I sent this article to the Bangalore Mirror and they published an edited version of this on 9th July as a feedback in the "Letters to the Editor" section. Felt good about voicing my opinion and seeing it in print!