I have a humiliating confession to make. And in the context of this issue, it is a particularly humiliating one.
I have actually never driven a car in my life. Well I’ve “mostly/somewhat” driven around several cars belonging to driving schools. But I’ve actually never driven a car without another man controlling another set of pedals, so that I don’t drive the car off a bridge or into a group of elderly Delhi types engaged in laughter therapy.
This is why I’ve never owned a driving licence, and why friends deeply dislike it when I join them for driving holidays. (To make up for this uselessness, I am something of an expert at configuring the music systems and radio in cars of almost any make. If it has a speaker, I can hook up an iPod to it.)
This explains why most of the motoring stories in this issue were hived off to my other more engine-oriented colleagues. There is an excellent potted history of Lamborghini in this issue, and a conversation with veteran motor journalist Siddharth Patankar about the past year in Indian motoring. Patankar is one of the most enjoyable people I have interviewed. He is that rare expert who speaks in fully formed, logical sentences that need no editing at all. And his interview is an excellent preparatory tool for those planning year-end cocktail parties. Patankar’s 15-minute analysis will help you talk about the Indian auto sector like an expert.
There is also a brief essay on the Breitling Jet Team in this issue. Flying through the air in a jet fighter, mostly upside down, is the most enjoyable and simultaneously terrifying thing I have ever done. But when I was back on the ground, I was pining to go back up again. If you have a spare $250,000 lying in a bank, I highly recommend the Aero L-39 Albatros. And once you’ve bought one of those, drop the editor of your favourite luxury magazine an email, won’t you?
This is also the year-end issue of Indulge. It has been an interesting year for us. We’ve experimented with a mix of themed and non-themed issues and both pictorial and conventional reported stories. And throughout this process, we’ve received a steady stream of feedback from our readers. This in itself is encouraging. The very fact that people care enough to write back to us is a big deal. We’re listening to your emails and tweets. And we’re working on making 2013 even more indulgent.
This year we even had a couple of readers call us up before they made some very expensive purchases. They wanted us to know what we thought of some premium wristwatches and a sports car or two. This is most satisfying. From the very beginning, our goal with this magazine has to be informed, but with the ultimate aim of helping you make better buying decisions. We hope to keep doing this through the next 12 issues as well.
At the end of another year, what does the Indian luxury market look like? If the success of the first edition of The Indian Luxury Expo is any indicator, things are looking up. After the initial onslaught of luxury brands with little local market knowledge, we are now seeing better local understanding and more realistic product offerings. Great brands are bringing in some great products at fantastic prices.
Barring an unprecedented economic slump, we seem all set for a fantastic, luxurious 2013. The Indulge team looks forward to seeing you then.
Meanwhile, we wish you indulgent holidays and a very happy new year.