Daddy Diaries 7 – The luxury trail

Goofing around with the family makes this writer ponder the world of uber luxury.

We were stuck in traffic on our way to the POP: FAME, LOVE AND POWER art exhibition at Nita bhabi’s Cultural Centre, which my Christian friends fondly call N-Mac(c). An ambulance was trying to jostle its way through the chaos with its resounding siren. “How do people know if there’s really someone sick inside?” my 9-year-old daughter asked, probably miffed by the fact that someone got to whiz past us while we got delayed. “It’s possible that they might be going to get someone who might be sick,” the younger one maturely interjected. “The degree of civilization of a community, city, or country is gauged by how consistently and quickly they make way for an ambulance,” I lectured. “Imagine if your loved one was critical; wouldn’t you want everyone to make way?” I asked, seeing them nod sheepishly in the rear-view mirror. “But the smart thing to do is drive right behind the ambulance so that you can make use of the path that has been cleared,” I gave them some driving hacks, as they like to call them.

“You know who else should have these sirens, dadda?” one of them asked. “Doctors!” I explained, “Because even we need to get to places in a hurry,” I justified. “No,” the younger one ferociously retorted. “Swiggy people,” she emphasized. “That way our pizza won’t take so much time to come every time we order it!” All of us had a good laugh.

“POP mein jaana hai?” the security guard asked as we entered the plush place the Ambanis have gifted the city. The girls giggled. We entered the Art House where Andy Warhol and his friends were patiently waiting for us over four floors. My daughter looked at Keith Haring’s art and suspected that he had flicked one of her thick markers to do his drawings. After an hour of stimulating them with some art, we strolled into a pizza place at the adjacent World Plaza. “Oh, this is the new place that has all these fancy stores,” I said out loud as I recollected its opening a few weeks ago. “Chalo, chalo,” I told the kids. “Let’s go shopping!”

We first entered the Versace store. On a rack in the corner, a pair of silk shorts with its classical grid pattern in gold and yellow caught my eye. They looked exactly like what Thai kickboxers wear during their fights.

“Are we allowed to touch these?” I asked, as we had just eaten pizza. He very respectfully handed me a wet wipe and gestured that I could go ahead. I lifted it off the rack and put it in front of my waist, facing the mirror. “How much for this?” I enquired in what was going to be the most-asked question that evening. My wife looked away and pretended not to have anything to do with me. “1 lakh rupees,” the customer service guy said. The pants I was wearing almost fell off. My children had their mouths wide open. “Get us an iPhone instead!” they demanded, even though they know they aren’t getting one until they are 15. “Do people really buy this stuff?” I asked the guy, amazed. He looked at me very condescendingly. “All the time, sir,” he replied. “What must one’s insides feel like with fifty thousand rupees worth of silk cloth caressing each thigh?” I wondered aloud. “I’ll take that for you,” he said, clearly not wanting to risk me putting it back on the shelf.

“Let’s go to Louis Vuitton,” I announced, insistently emphasizing the ‘s’ at the end. If you can’t pronounce a brand name, the next best thing is to rely on its representation in Hindi, I figured.

“LV, dadda,” my kids educated me. As we entered the store, I gazed upon a pear-shaped chair with a cute cushion on it, which I thought I’d rest on and observe how Mumbai spends ‘her’ money. It hung off a stylishly knotted orange rope suspended from a hook-like stand in black matte. A suited gentleman in a tuxedo stopped me and guided me to a more ordinary looking seating arrangement.

“Sir, this is for sale, hence we don’t allow people to sit on it,” he articulated in a very genteel manner. “But how can I decide if I want to buy it unless I sit on it?” I justified. “I don’t think you’ll buy it, sir,” he reasoned. “Why not? I think it looks nice and I’ve just painted my house; I can see this in my house!” I gave him some background. “It costs 70 lakhs,” he said in a deadpan manner. I knew he was judging me. “That’s the cost of a 1 BKH in Panvel!” I told the guy. “This way, sir,” he guided me to move away from the entrance as I explained to my children that we could either buy the chair or go on holidays for the next 10 years.

“Let’s see your most expensive purse,” I requested one madam who was walking around looking like a member of the CID squad, with her hands behind her back and a mini microphone connected to her ear piece. “One moment, sir,” she said, pausing to pull out a glove from her pant pocket, which she donned before taking the purse off the shelf. “Looks like she’s about to start surgery!” I quipped to my kids as my wife looked the other way. “I would like to buy this for her,” I told the lady, pointing to my wife, and got a fake smile in return. She placed an 8-inch rectangle on the table with a semi-circle handle over it. “It’s pure crocodile leather, fully handmade,” she explained, grazing her gloves over it like magicians do before they’re about to pull a bunny out of a hat. “And how much does it cost?” I asked, prepared to be fully humoured. “23 lakh,” she replied seriously. And there it was: The bunny was out of the hat. “Dadda, come on, let’s go!” my children piped up, giving me a graceful exit. Before leaving, however, I tried on a pair of oversized LV sunglasses to know how Karan Johar feels.

“Let’s go to Christian Dior,” I dragged them to yet another luxury behemoth. We had time to kill, you see, as the movie we wanted to watch was an hour later. But here, we weren’t even allowed inside. “Sir, waiting hai,” the security guard gestured. The store was over-crowded. I was shocked to see paan-chewing people walk out with bags and bags of CD paraphernalia. Yes, I was judging them. I remembered the days when I was younger and used to wear Charagh Din shirts and told everyone they were Christian Dior. Maybe I’ll have to continue doing that.

I wonder, if I had unlimited money, would I spend it on luxury clothing? Probably not. But why do I make fun of people who do? It’s possible that they’ve had to rough it out in their time and have earned the money they now enjoy in the way they now choose to. Maybe some of them were born amidst plenitude and have known no other life; how can you fault them for that? Others have a mindset of abundance and that is their way of living. Some might not be making these purchases for themselves but magnanimously gifting them to their loved ones. Yet others might be buying certain luxury goods in the form of an investment. Some truly appreciate quality craftsmanship and design whereas others might do it for pride and prestige. The more I think, the less I understand. Because, as humans, we are usually wrong at reading others.

“Let’s go to Gucci?” I proposed next, but my wife grabbed my hand and made sure I didn’t enter any other store. We stopped at Ladurée to have some macarons. “It’s 247 rupees a piece,” said the lady across the counter. “You don’t have tastings, like Baskin Robbins does?” I tried my luck. “Sorry, sir,” she said. Another fake smile. We bought one and the four of us took a bite each.

 

 

23 Comments on “Daddy Diaries 7 – The luxury trail
  • Godfrey says:

    Super fatherly narrative , text as poetry in motion

    Reply
  • Mahashweta Biswas says:

    🤣🤣🤣🤣It is the most hilarious article written. I was picturing Debashree’s expression as I was reading And naughty smiles on Meher & Kuchi’s Facing not to miss their one liners

    Super. Keep them coming

    Reply
  • Sanober Pardiwalla says:

    Luxury bags especially Hermes and birkin have given 50-100% appreciation even better than gold
    Patek Philippe watches have 500% appreciation to get one you have to write them an essay 😅 and they select you if your worthy of their watch 😂
    Rolex certain models and audemiers have 200#% appreciation in just a year limited edition.
    I would buy one as investment save it and sell it after a year and the profit money would be enough for luxurious vacation (first class tickets ) 😂🫶🏻

    Reply
  • Arun Pushkarna says:

    I could just imagine you doing all these things Mazda! Excellent narration! Pretentious and grounded at the same time.
    Thanks for the trip through these stores! ( wonder if they are called ‘stores’ these days)

    Reply
  • Supriya Correa says:

    You should have come to the real Mac land. Not the N Macc one. More laughs to be had as they, not you, would have mispronounced words.
    And you certainly did operate on their Pope, didn’t you?????
    Your red carpet awaits @ 400050

    Reply
  • Anil Karapurkar says:

    Mazda you take us back to our youth. I remember how flabbergasted I was on learning the price of a pair of Zara jeans which was more than a months salary as Prof Neuro Surgery in the ninetees

    Reply
  • Rita singh says:

    I wonder for whom have the ambanies set up this type of market. Maybe for the Kjos of Mumbai. How can anyone spend their honestly earned money like that. Very well written and I think the kids have more sense not waste their time looking at such extravagant items.

    Reply
  • Dr. Rafat Ansari says:

    So very well narrated..my kids too speak of all these brands all the time n the only thing v keep telling dem is study hard ,earn well to buy dem all fr urselves…n look m so so wrong to have heard it frm u…where a neuro guy feels the price!!!
    But I agree …v all work hard to earn that!
    Let those LV,Gucci,Versace be in the stands fr some more time…

    Reply
  • Sushma Sowraj says:

    Awesome narration, sir! Your family outing, from ambulance chase strategies to silk shorts shockers, painted a vivid canvas of laughter and contemplation. I ALMOST forgot my pain. Best wishes for your continued success in crafting such engaging narratives with your exceptional writing skills!

    Reply
  • Anjali Patki says:

    Amusing and entertaining….the narrative makes us feel we know your kids
    ….good fun

    Reply
  • Vineeta says:

    Hilarious account of your family visit to Mumvai’s super luxury stores .I too wonder who buys this stuff ,but apparently they do and a lot !

    Reply
  • Dinesh Shikotra says:

    Thanks for taking us on the journey to the N Mac mall. Loved children’s interpretation of the Ambulance siren. Experience of shopping at the branded shops and then finally enjoying the tastee bites with the family. Beautifully narrated..

    Reply
  • jaishreegoel says:

    I am simply in love with your sense of humor.

    Reply
  • Vipul shah says:

    Dear Dr Mazda sir ……..:

    Enjoyed your humorous piece sir in your Daddy Diary series on Luxury shopping……..

    What kind of impression in the young minds one can creat of super Duper expensive brands which only super Riches can only afford…….

    This so called super brands are nothing but vulgarity of Show off at highest level…..

    On the contrary children should be taught to understand & realize the importance & utility of any products which can be used even if it’s inexpensive…

    I give full marks to madam Debashree by pulling the family out of the HIGH LEVEL SHOPPING & settling for 1/4 macrons ……

    Take next trip to reality & affordable shopping to understand the difference between the both …..

    Reply
  • Marzin R Shroff says:

    Hilarious! Next time, you could create a fake medical emergency to justify getting out from the store 😄

    Reply
  • Dr Vinod Gidwani says:

    Most doctors earn their money the hard way including even highflying neurosurgeons. They just cannot blow their money on ridiculously expensive things . I just love Mazda’s sense of humor and down to earth approach in his writings.

    Reply
  • Dr Vinod Gidwani says:

    Mazda I just love your sense of humor. All doctors earn their money by hard work and cannot blow up their money

    Reply
  • Dr Vinod Gidwani says:

    Mazda I just love your sense of humor. All doctors earn their money by hard work and cannot blow up their money

    Reply
  • Setu Ram says:

    Money can buy class?

    Reply
  • Anuradha says:

    Hi Mazda

    Love your sense of humour, naughty rejoinders and your style! Keep writing in your unique style for our reading pleasure. Love to family

    Reply
  • Burzin Panthaki says:

    Very hilarious.
    These stores are not for folks who earn their money the right way

    Reply
  • jaishreegoel says:

    I often wonder who ever thought of creating these brands and what goes into making these things that makes them so precious. Wo kahate hain na ki ek shahanshah ne banawa ke haseen Taj Mahal hum gareebon ki mohabbat ka udaya hai mazaak.

    Reply
  • Kersi Naushir Daruvala says:

    If wishes were horses beggers would ride.
    Dream on your life.

    Reply

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