Where’s the doorman?” Outside the entrance of Sidewok, a dimly-lit Chinese eatery in Khan Market, Sameeran (name changed on request) refuses to go in till the guard appears and opens the door for him.
A brand-sensitive consumer of classy dressing and fine taste, he expects good service when paying for it.
Dressed in an Ed Hardy sweatshirt, a blue-sequined Zara top and royal-blue jeans, this young IT professional walks up the stairs carrying a snake-leather Coach bag and a Louis Vuitton wallet. His left arm bears a Chinese language tattoo and his right hand shows a Guess gold watch studded with Swarovski crystals.
“I’m wearing a white-and-green striped Topshop panty,” whispers Sameeran. “Kate Moss loves Topshop; so do I.”Once, Sameeran did not care for branded accessories. Five years ago, while dressing for a party, he realised that the reflection in the mirror was just not him. He decided to get a new wardrobe.
“If you don’t wear brands, people won’t give a crap.” But Sameeran never buys clothes by Indian designers. “I can’t carry them off. They are not street wear and have no value for money.”
Though he does his shopping on trips to Dubai or London, he loves coming to Khan Market. “It’s vibrant with well-dressed positive people. You feel good here.” He also hangs out in PVR Saket complex for its bookstalls and clubs. He still misses Kolkata, his hometown.
“In Kolkata, you can party till 7 am. It also has a rich Anglo-Indian culture and people there grow up on books and music.” Once, in Delhi, Sameeran was reading a novel on way to the office when his co-passenger in the cab enquired if he were pursuing English Honours. “Delhiites don’t realise that one can read for pleasure.”
Sameeran inherited this passion for reading from his father, who died four years ago. Despite his
relatives saying that there was no need to do so, he followed the Hindu ritual of shaving his head during his father’s cremation. “I wanted Baba to rest in peace.”
Initially, Sameeran’s father was uncomfortable about his son’s ‘alternative lifestyle’, but later came to terms with it. “Baba loved me and wanted me to be what I wanted to be.”
Has he become what he wanted to be? “Why,” exclaims Sameeran. “People dream of my kind of life. Tell me how many people in Delhi own a Louis Vuitton?”