Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:
Thank you for the A2A.
For an Indian, the word ‘luxury’ is probably the most relative of words ever. What is luxury for me, may not be a luxury for another.
For some people, luxury would mean a snazzy car, a swanky home, more than a couple of servants, oodles of money, branded stuff to wear…while for some others, luxury would mean roof over their heads and enough food to eat.
So it’s highly relative from person to person, from society to society.
Like everyone else, at the very basic level, to an Indian, luxury would mean having the power to purchase something without thinking ten times over about whether it will affect the monthly budget or not. This is applicable to all rungs of society.
For an average middle class Indian family, luxury would mean being able to immediately buy that original Barbie doll for their daughter who spotted it at a shop window and asked for it. Or it could be the buying power of a youngster to be able to buy that expensive looking pair of jeans, even though he/she has three other pairs at home already. It could mean making spot plans to travel someplace out of the country. All these things are basically reflections of ‘buying-power’.
Can I afford to hire a maid?
Can I change my car tires to alloy wheels?
Can I take my girlfriend out on a date to a five-star hotel?
Can I put my child in that school?
Can I buy that Ferrari?
Oh we could go on and on. So the lesser an individual has to think about his/her spending, the more luxury he/she enjoys…as a rule of thumb.
To me, as a person and as an Indian, this is what luxury means…to be able to buy whatever I like without thinking ten times about whether I really want it now, and asking myself questions like could I do without it, is it a necessity, will my monthly budget be affected, and so on and so forth.