India’s Tryst with Luxury!
What is Luxury ?? How has it evolved over time ?? Who has been the luxury consumer over the years ?? Why is one attracted to consume Luxury ?? What does it all really mean ??
These are some pertinent questions that have always been cropping up time and again. Given the current wave of the ‘Aam Aadmi’ or the ‘Common man’, is conspicuous consumption being viewed with distaste ?? Is it the great divide between the ‘have’ and the ‘have not’?
If one googles the word ‘Luxury’, it throws up about 197,000,000 results in some 0.33 seconds!
Various definitions crop up – for example, ‘something inessential but conducive to comfort & pleasure’; ‘ something expensive & hard to obtain’; ‘sumptuous living or surroundings’; ‘something pleasant, expensive & surprising’ etc etc.
So what really is Luxury? Luxury is a product for some. For others, luxury is a status or a service, while for some; it is a prized possession or asset. It can also be a combination of all of these for a few. Luxury is also a differentiator in the social hierarchy. It’s a way of life for some.
Flashback India: End 1800 to Early 1900.
Luxury was reserved for the kings and their queens. Luxury was also meant for the British aristocrats & the ‘brown sahebs’, but not for the common Indian.