Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Ladies who Lunch | Mumbai news

In Singapore, from where I am writing this, you cannot miss their presence. Beautifully dressed and leisurely ladies, married to wealthy men, they spend all their time shopping in upscale boutiques, going to saloons for manicures and massages, and spending their leisure afternoons in upscale cafes and restaurants. .

Here they are called ‘Tai Thais’, a term that is respectfully used to refer to a wealthy married woman and sometimes to describe a man who does not work and lives devoted to his own leisure and happiness.

According to Singaporean legend, Tai Tai is a well-known and ambitious unit, responsible for many ways to drive the economy: by avoiding housework and using a battery of household staff to meet the needs of her and her family; By constantly updating the knowledge and encouragement of great places to shop, eat and holiday; By frequent visits to spas and beauty parlors; And by shopping around the clock for a collection of luxury clothes, shoes and accessories.

Observing the economic boom the island state is experiencing, the Tai Thais are a symbol of the region’s runaway consumerism, the very crest of its success; But of course, they are no different than the famous ‘mid-day’ ‘socialites’ or ‘very high-profile hostesses’ of London, Paris, New York and other capitals around the world.

In fact, in most developed countries, where people have disposable income, the syndrome of women invading the commanding perch in high society is well established.

In Europe and England in the past, socialists were primarily concerned with wealth and nobility, but with the advent of popular media, especially television, the ubiquity of glamorous women capturing public imagination – not just for what they do or say, but for what they look like and how they look. Emerged: ‘famous for being famous’; It is interesting how such women are perceived in different times and circumstances. As with all things, the way women are treated tells a lot about the time and place they live.


For a long time, women with privileges devoted to genteel hedonism were seen as soft targets, easy to vacuum and superficial. After fighting for their rights for equal opportunities in employment and education, women who had the option but did not choose to work were somewhat hesitant, selfish and self-absorbed, and subject to social condemnation.

No one has done this more or less empathetically and more harshly than the Broadway Musical Company (1970) in his song ‘Ladies We Lunch’, Stephen Sondheim, which brings out the pathos of their situation with lines like ‘Hears to the Ladies How’. Lunch / everyone laughing / sipping on their caftans, and planning a brunch for themselves … ‘The original production was delivered by actress Elaine Stritch with a lot of underlying irony and rage. He was referring to a more middle-aged version of the Sonnheim syndrome, whose pamphlet was already on skids with life, boredom and senselessness.

But then the descendants of the ‘Lunching Ladies’ parody, women who came to symbolize the zeitgeist of Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian, were no longer affiliated to wealthy men, but, in fact, turned the tables on the trope and made it work for them, resulting in vast empires of influence and wealth Has set up. In fact, in the era of social media, ‘celebrity to be famous’ is a surefire way to make big bucks.

So, over the years, the creators of immense richness and influence, with their own enormous institution, regarded as mildly mocking and mocking creatures, the West has seen a 360-degree turn in the way of women’s privilege. Considered.


In Mumbai, on the other hand, no self-respecting woman wants to be called a ‘socialist’.

As editor of the Society Supplement in the nineties, it was a constant struggle to refer to society’s women with wealth, privilege and celebrity surnames – but who did not do more than enjoy these benefits – neither patronize nor bristle them.

Because, considering the city’s comprehensive work ethic, it would be disgusting to describe these women with the word ‘S’. The ‘philanthropist,’ as the ‘patron of the arts’ and the ‘cultistista’, came in appropriately. But very soon, things changed, and before one could know it, they did not have to imagine ‘socially acceptable’ titles by thin air, as women soon emerged as leading professionals, business leaders and powerful in every field by their own strength.

Doctors, lawyers, engineers, businesspeople, educators, nutritionists, women, wherever they were, occupied positions of power and influence.

In today’s peak city, women consider themselves and their peers to be equal in all respects to their male counterparts; This, and the city’s unparalleled respect for achievement and activity, is that the most pampered socialists or mid-day women (the current term for fashionistas) are also multi-tasking, often manipulating their role as wife, mum, hostess. Panache, a hard-won professional and entrepreneur. This is all the more so as she strives to maintain her fashion model figure, her punishing physique and her social media presence.

I know women of great privilege, pelfs and position in Mumbai, and their commitment to their careers, children, families and responsibilities is exemplary.

They have the fancy of a Thai Tai, or the downfall of a Western socialist, or the fragile existence of a woman who does nothing but a meal in expensive clothes, or a fashionist trapped in her next fittings or fashion show; As with all things, Mumbai demands more from its residents – and its women are willing to follow it – as they board the 8.11 Virr-Churchgate Fast every day, or fly in and out of the city on their private jets.

So, Mumbai certainly has no Tai Ties.

In fact, considering how things are going, how quickly do we need to create a term to describe Mumbai’s beautifully dressed and leisurely men, who spend their time shopping in upscale boutiques, saloons for manicures and massages, and their spare afternoons at upscale cafes and restaurants, among others like them?

Simply put …

Leave a Comment