Luxury is not confined to my wardrobe. To me, luxury is a unique experience that has the potential of transporting me into a space that is more private, silent and close to nature. For me, the ultimate luxe holiday was at a friend’s ancestral property in north Goa when I watched baby loggerhead turtles hatch and walk into the sea on a moonlit night. Having said that, I appreciate luxury hotels too, but I restrict it to properties that are more discreet in their approach and anticipate the needs of their guests instead of getting the job done by an in-your-face butler. Hotel Four Seasons in Toronto and some resorts in India offer this. Also, it is a luxury to have a spa come to my room. Ritz Carlton in Toronto offers great spa experiences in your room. I got a taste of it when I was staying at the hotel for a friend’s wedding. The most memorable meal I have had is at La Grenouille in New York. It’s an old-school French restaurant where you have to put on your best (you must wear a jacket!) and experience the most elaborate and extraordinary French service in New York. I usually save it for special occasions.
My style is a mix of couture and high street brands, even if it means pairing a sleek, branded suit with a 100 rupee bandhni handkerchief as pocket square. High quality of fabric and customisation are key. I like longevity when it comes to style—it should last for years, if not generations. The good thing in India is you can have anything custom made or altered and refine an heirloom piece if you know a good tailor. I also love the whole process of initialisation,especially on shirt cuffs and luggage. I usually buy my shirts off the rack and get initials done. It’s quirky and old school, but very me. In fact, I don’t like to flaunt brand signage. You will find me removing labels frequently from sunglasses (laughs).
NOSTALGIA IS PRICELESS
I’m a minimalist — I only collect boarding passes — and so I have a limited wardrobe. But I deeply value vintage items like my maternal grandfather’s pocket watch and the ’60s Christian Dior neckties I received from a friend’s deceased father’s wardrobe. My last big purchase was a vintage watch from the mid-century modern period. I looked it up for months and months, and then I found it at a vintage store in Los Angeles. It didn’t cost as much a contemporary luxury watch (came with scratches too), but I have never seen anyone wear something like that. Now, I wear it all the time.
SUCKER FOR A STORY
Old furniture is gold because it’s timeless and has more character. I must admit I have a keen eye for colonial furniture and art from a bygone era. Luckily, I have inherited some antique furniture and art from my maternal grandparents. I have a precious oil painting of my great great grandfather that has an antique wooden frame. You don’t see such craftsmanship anymore. I’m a sucker for stories; the value of an object automatically increases when it has some heritage or one-of-a-kind story behind it. I have recently acquired a unique wooden and glass trolley from an aunt who passed away. It was made in the 1920s and has an unusual shape to it. I bring it out all the time while entertaining guests at home. Everyone loves it!
TIME IS LUXURY
We barely have time today because of the kind of hectic lives we lead in congested cities. You will not believe when I say this, but I particularly enjoy long flights because I’m unreachable on my phone. I can enjoy movies, meals and a nap in a span of couple of hours.