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Abstract

The last two decades have seen the emergence of not just new markets but new market spaces that provide a visual experience of products and persons that closely approximates the field set up by the global media. Malls represent the concrete representations of unabashed celebration and acknowledgment of desire. Malls are one of the spaces that shape everyday lives suggesting the rightfulness of fulfilling sexual, cultural, social and gastronomic desires. One ‘category’ of persons presumably shaped by these spaces are those who work in them. Our concern is particularly with the negotiation of body and subjectivity as women travel daily, crossing borders of class and caste and neighbourhood -from the lower class world that forms their residences to the space of erotic bodies and hyper real images. The mall is a temple dedicated to the gratification of the body and all its senses. The young nubile woman working in the mall is an ideal conduit for the creation, communication and the consummation of this desire. While these women are selling the dreams of a perfect body and all manner of bodily gratification they need themselves to project a certain kind of body, but the question is can they inhabit this body outside the boundary of the mall? Do they discard this body at the exit of the mall? ‘Its hard to wipe it off’. This reference to the make-up she uses as a part of her work at the outlet of a multinational brand suggests the difficulty in carrying this bodily self back to her habitat.