Day 2 of opening: August 10, 2018 Houston, we have a problem. Despite warnings of imminent danger, we have arrived at HITEC City, Hyderabad, where there were sightings of a large foreign creature earlier, by the name of IKEA.This two-storeyed species descended from Sweden on August 9, 2018 and from what we gather, is here to stay.
After navigating our way through the hoards of visitors outside this new furniture store, we found ourselves facing a larger-than-ever crowd yet again at the Showrooms’ entrance. What does ‘Showroom’ imply, you ask? Evidently, these are eleven seamlessly connected sections, in categories such as ‘living room’, ‘dining’ and ‘kitchen’, which display furniture. What was that, Houston? Ah, yes, the display pieces are all assembled, some even arranged in fashionable home and room set-ups, which visitors can treat as their own. I found as many lounging here as walking around. The fresh pieces are picked up downstairs, I overhear. Over.
Houston, I have concluded that the only way to understand this extraterrestrial anomaly is to blend in with the other visitors. So I picked up one of the big yellow bags and arrived at the ‘Living Room’ Showroom. I also have a blue pamphlet in tow, which has space for me to note down selected purchases. There’s every kind of home furniture imaginable here—be it different kinds of six-seat sofas, or scented candles for just Rs. 199. What is it, you say? You would like a candle? Is blackberry okay? Over.
Houston, I just purchased an artificial potted plant. Before that, a stainless-steel doorknob. A napkin holder. Even table lamps for children. I do not even have children! There seems to be some odd allure to the place. Oh, look at that fridge. However, it happens to have a ‘yellow tag’—which means I must contact one of the lovely staff members (dressed in yellow) who will facilitate the order. For the rest of the furniture (in orange tags), I simply need to note down the ‘RACK’ and ‘LOC’ numbers corresponding to the display piece, and find it downstairs. I’ve got to go, Houston; at least five others are eyeing that fridge. Over.
D for Detail
This is an extremely intelligent life form we are dealing with, Houston. They have provided touchscreen monitors for people to modify certain furniture as per their liking. Products have been interestingly named—some after their designers, others after occupations or Swedish villages—and everything has a Swedish name. Guiding arrows aren’t painted on the floor, but projected onto it. There are yellow bags for the Showrooms (to pick up the few small items you can on the fly), shopping trolleys for the Market Hall (which has assembled furniture) and flat trolleys for the Self-serve furniture areas, where the larger, unassembled, DIY furniture is kept in boxes. Can’t assemble or shuttle things yourself?—they have services for that. Shortcuts between sections, interesting trivia and guides for most furniture collections on the price tags—they’ve thought of everything, Houston! They even have family and business memberships for discounts and privileges. How does one ever resist this place? Presently, I am sitting at the IKEA Restaurant and savouring the Rs. 99 biryani, so I will talk to you later. Over.
When all was said and done, Houston, I told HAL 2018 not to open the pod bay door. In my few hours here, I have realised the mystery to the place—it is, after all, a shopping experience heightened to its limit. You can rest, eat and savour the aesthetic, and pick up so much for so little. I, too, plan to make my purchases and leave at some point, but not now. I will stay here for just a little longer and wonder—if the answer to making your home perfect lies in IKEA, how is it that you do not wish to leave the place? Don’t worry—I will make it out before the 60-day product return period is over. Over and out.
IKEA is open every day between 10am and 11pm, while the restaurant remains open between 9.30am and 10.30pm. Visit ikea.in
Address: IKEA HITEC City, Raidurg, Serilingampally, Mandal, Survey no. 83/1, Plot No.25, 26, Part 29, Panmaqtha, Rangareddy, Hyderabad - 500032, Telangana, India.