luxury,Covid Panedamic & William Morris
Covid has made us more aware of the character of those who want to foist imposing, useless projects on us rather than provide basic necessities of life.
Walking on Hill road in Bandra this morning made me aware of another aspect. Saw a large queue in front of the popular Mahima Mangalore provision stores while luxury shops which have sprung up on this road in the last few years were all closed. Obviously there are no buyers for them.
I remembered what William Morris, British art critic and thinker , wrote about shops in London way back in 1884 which is so relevant to us. He said many shops sell stuff which is so superfluous and even embarrassing to the daily lives of common people.
So relevant because on Hill Road soon I spotted a big fashion shop called Vanity Homme (yes, that is the way they have spelt it as a kind of fashion statement). And the word Vanity itself tells the whole story.
And then there are outlets like Tattoo Studio, A.L.’s Piercings and Lakme Saloon , all closed. I am not against them, the point is that when we face life an its hash reality all this is so redundant. luxury
Some of Morris’s observations are worth quoting. He said ` We should rid ourselves of this mountain of rubbish that would be something worth doing: things which everybody knows are of no use; the very capitalists know well that there is no genuine healthy demand for them, and they are compelled to foist them off on the public by stirring up a strange feverish desire for petty excitement, the outward token of which is known by the conventional name of fashion,
a strange monster born of the vacancy of the lives of rich people, All these are the slaves of what is called luxury, which in the modern sense of the word comprises a mass of sham wealth, the invention of competitive Commerce, and enslaves not only the poor people who are compelled to work at its production, but also the foolish and not over happy people who buy it to harass themselves with its encumbrance.’
Hill Road was a simple, old artery, joining S.V road and Band Stand, Mount Mary and other parts. It has been suddenly overtaken by luxury brands.
Another parallel road Turner Road has been taken over by rows of jewelry shops, glittering but utterly obscene in a way
The real road that serves common people and apart from that it is so fascinating in many ways is Bazar road, a narrow road, may be a century old full of old world charm with small shops, you can instantly connect with each of them. It has such a friendly ambience in its simplicity with small buildings.
also has a multi religious and at the same time in way a secular ethos. It has everything from Solomon’s hardware shop, an atta chakki, a flour mill, bakeries, kirana stores, hair saloons, a clinic, shops selling bangles and pickles and shoes, luxury
a chemist, a clinic, a Bohra masjid, a restaurant, a bar, a dentist and small jewelry shops. And all this in the length of a furlong or so. And at the end is the more than hundred year old Kalidas stores. It compels you in way to go inside and buy organic and other stuff. luxury