Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Too real to be fake?

The voicemail that I'd received in lieu of a formal invitation, the one I've replayed a million times already mentioned today's date. In pure unadulterated exhilaration mode I arrive at Aer at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai. Aer is 34 floors above the bustling streets of Worli and India's highest rooftop bar I think but don’t quote me on that one. It takes my breath away quite literally as I begin to borderline gag. There’s nowhere else like it in the city. Being so high up, I feel as though I've have been transported to a parallel universe. All one can see is the sea and the lights of Mumbai spread out like a blanket beneath you. It's totally worth the hype in case you haven't been.

Oh and did I mention the occasion? Brace yourself for this one. Chennai Super Kings had just become the 2010 IPL champions by beating Mumbai Indians and this was their larger than life celebration party. My friend Zubina does PR for Super Kings and was giving me special treatment on my trip back home. She was a die hard John Mayor fan and I'd taken her to a concert in LA once. Thought she was just returning the favor but boy was I wrong. My premium seats for $150 at the John Mayor concert wouldn't even have covered me valet parking and a decent tip at a party like this. She was just being nice. Way too nice.

The crowd was, no points for guessing, a killer mix of the sparkling faces from tinsel town and the cricket world. And models. And TV artists. And influential politicians. And people with connections. But the shock factor came not from the faces but below the necks of those faces. Guccis, Pradas, Diors and Cavallis seem to be the big contenders jostling for some breathing space. Most of them I recognize from very recent runway collections. But that wasn't it. Gosh why am I spotting a million brands around and who are these unknown faces sporting them? Yves Saint Laurent, Diane von Furstenberg, Herve Leger, Mango, FCUK, Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney and tons more. What WHAT? How? And why do I feel like barfing instead of going wowza when I see amazing things on seemingly unknown faces? Don't even get me started on the bags and shoes. May be because I wasn't au fait with the norms of the glitzy world, had decided to precariously follow my instinct and slipped into a teal Forever 21 silk dress... or what is Charlotte Russe from a couple years ago and looked so meh. That's all the 411 you get on me because I'm going to maintain dignified silence after that major blow to my self esteem that will require god knows how many therapy sessions to get over.

I hear an ear piercing splash that uproots me and abruptly open my eyes to realize my kid had jumped into the Jacuzzi despite a detailed lecture to hubby and baby on the concept of me-time 30 minutes ago. The dream sequence, I presume, was a result of too many IPL news updates I get hit by and too many High Heel Confidential (it's a website that is very very habit forming for non-males) updates I get by hitting it. But what I did NOT dream about is the international designer pieces on nobodies part of it. It's true. I've seen it. And I've got proof. The question again is, HOW? Call me bitter and you might be right but that isn't the correct answer. How is every other whats-her-face suddenly sporting labels that cost a liver or a kidney in India? I don’t mean to raise the status of this burning question to the level of how can we preserve the earth question but trust me its getting there. And it is killing me slowly but surely. I know India is home to the largest number of billionaires in Asia now but hello I’m not talking about royalty here. I’m talking about those who you might have seen in some reality dance show once or an item number or an anchor hunt challenge. The blink and forget category. Are they wearing fake? But it looks like the real thing. Are they really buying it? I majorly doubt it. Is there a common pool where people contribute monthly to buy latest runway collections and use it turn by turn? Yikes… err brilliant. Do international designers have a different pricing system for India just to be able to penetrate the market? Perhaps. Wait are they renting it? They are, aren’t they? Think even my thinking neurons are exhausted.

I may need to safe drown myself in that Jacuzzi water for a minute or two to detox my head.

p.s. The first gal below, Natasha Poonawala (who?) is wearing a Cavalli top which I'm in love with. The second gal below, Renu Chainani (who?) is sporting a Gucci gown.

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