Sunday, May 24, 2009

Unlimited Expense Accounts

It was a ladies luncheon at one of our regular eateries.

I bit into a cocktail naan, when a leggy brunette sashayed in, her long cotton dress lovingly draping her tall curvaceous figure. Who was she? Brazilian model in town for a Vogue photo shoot? Then I saw the crow lines fanning around her hazel eyes.

'I've had such an exhausting morning dealing with these builders. I need vino.' She proclaimed in loud, molten-chocolate voice as she sat down at our table. 

Miraculously, a waiter appeared with a large goblet of red wine. 'You remembered my usual', she exclaimed dramatically, making the waiter flush in his dark skin.

June introduced her as Krista Marchessi y Vidalia from near Verona, and within minutes I learned that Krista was redoing her two thousand square foot kitchen. What? I almost choked on my gin and tonic. Why, that was bigger than some apartments I had been to.

'You love to cook?' I asked Krista inanely.

'No, no, I don't cook', Krista gurgled throatily. 'I'm Italian. We love to gather in kitchen.'

I learned then about Krista's gorgeous ten thousand square foot duplex overlooking the Gateway. That was not counting the extra three thousand square foot of wraparound terrace. It was just a rental space, but she had shipped an entire kitchen from Italy and builders were retrofitting it in. Her husband was in India to represent an Italian interiors house, to fuel the desi fetish for Italian home decor, from leather love-seats to Carrara tabletops to custom designed knife drawers and modular laminated kitchenettes. So not much surprise that an old fashioned Indian kitchen, where generations of khansamas had toiled to feed biriyani-loving chi-chi madams, did not cut swathe.

Mumbai on unlimited expense accounts could be quite something!

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