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Mumbai trends

November 10, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Like any major metro, the denizens of Mumbai (called Mumbaikars colloquially) like to consider themselves trendy.    Life in a striated society is a little limiting: you are generally exposed to people “like you” in some way: professionally, by education, income, tastes in food or even perhaps your expat origin.   Although I cannot comment on everybody in the city, within these cities-within-cities I notice some distinct trends.  These are not unlike what they are in the US where everybody does it: remember the iPod? layering? ballet shoes? raybans?  Most fads I see here are quite ok and are signatures of any global city but some of them are hilarious.  Here is a random list of things that amuse me because I have just moved here from the US and I am sure the locals accept as de rigeur:

  • Professionals (men) have taken to wearing slip-on leather loafers with long pointed toes that stick out a couple of inches past their toes (extra long).  This is uniformly true across the spectrum of lawyers, bankers, VCs etc that I meet.  Hopefully this will fade out soon since I look somewhat out of place with my lace ups.
  • Mont-Blancs!  Every shirt pocket has the telltale “white star” logo peeking out of it.
  • Abercrombie and Fitch shorts, t-shirts and sweat pants!  And Billabong! But wait – these are middle aged men and women wearing them!!!!  These are cheap but well made knock offs procured in Thailand and the original identity of the brand is quite lost on these folks.
  • Amercanisms have caught up here; even a few years ago the standard response to “how are you doing?” was “fine, thank you” but now even the kitty-party crowd responds with “doing good.”
  • iPhones and Macs: everywhere, in a market that Apple does not officially recognize as a place where Macs are sold/serviced.
  • iPods, yes, like everywhere else but the white ear-buds are passe’.  B&O earbuds only please.

Send me your additions to this list!

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