Monday, July 18, 2005

Feeling good?

For a Mumbai socialite, it scarcely gets bigger and better than this, reports Indian Express.

Prerna Goel, "porcelain perfect 33-year-old homemaker and mother-of-one" has been selected by the ultra-luxurious Chanel to star in a television documentary on the fashion house.

"It’s quite a prestigious thing," says the Lagos-born, London-raised Goel, just back and jet-lagged from shooting in Paris for five days. The Chanel team was also in Mumbai for three days last month, shooting Goel as she went about her daily life—meditation, playing Mom, charities and of course, some evenings well spent at Mumbai’s top restaurant, Indigo.

"I was chosen for their accessories profile," says Goel, who owns over 35 bags (the lowest price for one is Rs 50,000), and numerous belts and shoes.

I don't grudge anyone their share of designer labels - wear 'em if it makes you feel good. But 35 Fendi bags? If I had several crores in my bank account - and 18 lakhs was mere spare change - I still wouldn't buy 35 of those obscenely priced thingies.

And the luxury retailers who think India is the 'next big thing' need to look beyond the small, extremely creamy layer of society for whom carrying the 'right' bag and wearing the 'right' shoe is a matter of do or die.

The rest of us have a life.

And an identity which is independent of the labels we may choose - or choose not to -display.

Minding your business
So like I said - good for you, lady.

But would you mind if the media also took a quick peek at your husband's income tax returns? Just to confirm, you know, that the money spent is tax paid. And save you the trouble poor Ramdeo Agarwal is now going through.

After coughing up Rs 3 crores as ransom money -which was recovered when his son's kidnappers were nabbed - the high profile stockbroker has generously offered that the I-T dept keep Rs 84 lakhs of it. It was, he admitted, black money - when asked to explain the 'source of income'.

Should we stand up and applaud this honesty? Or wonder how many more such crores are stashed away??

Under the Income Tax Act, all payments and withdrawals above Rs 20,000 have to be made by cheque.Interestingly, the officers in Mumbai have been told the currency notes meant for the abductors are accompanied by bank slips and are in Rs 1,000 denomination.

Is Mr P Chidambaram at all concerned how easily and legitimately black money is circulating in the system???

Evidently not
Which is why the name "Thanks" for the new luxury designer store in Mumbai's Worli area is so very apt. Thanks, Mr Chidambaram, for taxing cash withdrawals of Rs 10,000 but not digging into the Cartier skeletons in our closets.

The new 10,000 square feet store houses top brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino RED, Stella McCartney, Juicy Couture, Chloe, Paper Denim, etc. Prices? From Rs 4,000 for a 'regular' Juicy tee to lakhs of rupees for Fendi and D&G accessories.

Says Sunday Mid-day," The attempt here, is to really save you a trip abroad for shopping..."

And, I might add, the ignominy of being caught evading customs duty on several lakhs worth of luxury goods. Like two loaded and well known gentlemen.

It used to be known as 'smuggling', you know, at one time... But let me not spoil the 'feel good' factor.


  1. Now 34 bags is too too much.

  2. Maybe it's time for P Chidambaram to come out with yet another VDIS.

    Except for the nouveau riche, others can't really afford the likes of LVMH, Chanel, Fendi, Gucci and Prada. The rest of India can settle for a fake from one of the popular markets in Delhi.

    The select few who can afford the same anyway travel abroad and hence they can buy the same stuff much cheaper. They'll even get access to a better range and probably latest arrivals if they visit the boutiques in NY, London and Paris. Indian distributors of European Fashion label use these merchandise for parallel trading.

  3. Hmm...One of the things that make me sad when I am travelling abroad is the sight and feel of the international airports.. Except for Indian airports, all other major airports look so much the same- Multiple Gucci stores, multiple Calvin Klein, DKNY, Prada and so on...And I wonder when will be the day when I shall finally be able to shop in one of them...
    The only places you could go to in these airports is a McDonalds or Starbucks store...Not yet in Indian international airports where there are a couple of un-interested duty free shops...You can still get tea in platic glasses for 4Rs..

  4. I am quiet shocked to see that you haven't written anything on the Harry Potter series as yet.

  5. Hi Rashmi,

    I have become a regular reader of your blog. I use RssReader (no relation to that colored clothed, black-and-white mentality, "either you are with us, or are against us..." organization!) to syndicate the blogs and news sites I visit daily.

    I am not sure if the absence of a feed of your blog is deliberate, but I do assume the liberty to create a feed for my syndication purposes nonetheless. So, the feed for this site that works fine for me is

    If you would like to use this feed, a good way is to use a nice little chicklate, by including a small piece of code in your template. The code will be of the form:


    (I could have included the whole code here, but the dumb comment script won't allow an img tag)

    Great going btw, and hey, yes I'm too awaiting your take on Mr. Potter and his adventures. Muggles' envy, Wizards' Pride.

    (shamelessly muggle)

  6. Hi
    first time here,
    excellent blogging thats all I can say,
    I enjoyed ur 'one thing' about men :)

  7. This calls for some genuine tax reforms.In india it is sad to see that even the head honchos tend to pile up black money and finally lands up into money laundering.
    Vir Sanghvi once mentioned in his article that many of the Mumbai's or might as well say India's top businessmen siphone funds from their holding Companies and stash them away in swiss bank accounts and live in the bombay high society circles with the remmittances from the swiss bank a/c s leaving their Companies in shambles,Indian investors in such cases are left having no choice.

  8. Thanks for your comment sadly i move to the mumbai soon... :-(

  9. I set up 'THANKS' from ground up...from constuction, brand buying, merchandising, the whole 9 yards!!! The entire operation turned out to be fraudulent and after re-locating from New York to work on the project with the deceptively sly proprietor, Ashish Chordia I realized that it was probably a front for money laundering. All payments on the project somehow came in wads of INR 1000 bills stuffed in paper bags. Needless to say, the word is out there with the brands in Europe where I am currently, that this individual is engaging in activities that are not so forthcoming. Merchandise for brands, DOLCE & GABBANA, FENDI, CHLOE,etc.. were all obtained by cheating the original partners VILLA MODA Kuwait out of the terms of their contract.

    However, someone needs to put an end to the activities of Mr. Chordia, who single-handedly has ruined the reputation of the Indian retail market globally... Milan, Paris, New name it!! Contacting the CBI, EOW and IT departments would be a good start!!!!

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