For this Diwali, I have decided that one gift and only that one will do. There are things that I desire. The kundan set from Anmol Jewellers with giant uncut diamonds will look great with my Kanjivarams. Christian Louboutin’s Love shoes will almost make me forget my ankle ache. Clive Christian’s No. 1 perfume with ylang-ylang, sandalwood and bergamot fits all my olfactory requirements, but at $2,150 (around Rs1 lakh) an ounce, I cannot afford it. I’ve been swooning over Arne Jacobsen’s Swan Chair for a decade but it won’t match my brass urli (large pot). I am quite prepared to plonk down Rs15,000 for Hundred Acres’ single-estate Cabernet Sauvignon but the waiting list is five years. A pink macaroon from Ladurée would be divine, but who wants to go to Paris for this? As for the Tesla Roadster that has my name written on it, I’ve come to accept the bitter fact that it is—and will always remain—a fantasy.
So this Diwali, I want something that is quintessentially Indian, completely stylish and extremely functional. I want an autorickshaw. I am not being facetious. I’ve always wanted an auto. It is unusual and fits my personality: slightly wobbly, erratic, excitable and has a high tolerance for a large number of schoolchildren. That’s me. I think I look like an auto too, but that may just be hero-worship.