Notes from the Vogue India September 2011 Issue

As a longtime Vogue reader and a former fashion-obsessed contributor to MTV Desi (Fashion Faceoff RIP), I’ve been itching to get my fingers on a print edition of Vogue India.  Over Thanksgiving, when I visited Maharani Music in Houston, one of the few places I’ve found that actually carries legit copies of Bollywood movies and music, I was delighted to procure a copy of the Vogue India September 2011 issue for sale.  On the plane back, I finally opened up the magazine.  And, as is my custom, I took a few notes so I could refer back later. Here, for your enjoyment, are those notes.

-Before the page of Contents, an ad from L’Oreal Paris for their new Pearl Perfect crème. “Pearl – like fairness,” states the copy, promising the user “flawless, fair skin.”

-p. 28: The Contributors page asks some of the feature writers about their “wish lists.” Two ask for iPads. Contributor Ahmad Rafay Alam, whose feature on Pakistani novelist Mohammad Hanif appears on p. 240 says of his piece, “I enjoyed the thought of getting paid to fly to Karachi for the weekend to chat with a friend and write about it.”

-p. 87: An ad for the Artize toilet – complete with photos of the gleaming throne.

-p. 104: The “Vogue Vibe,” a short-ish five-paragraph essay called “Hanging Out with the Dalai Lama” on Mala Baru’s two visits with the Dalai Lama (noting that at least one of the visits was “invitation only”). The writer concludes with, “It was an intimate experience and a rare glimpse into the personal, world of the Dalai Lama.”

-p. 107:  Another add for face cream: “Discover non-stop whitening from Clarins White Plus HP.”

-p. 112: A feature on American playwright Ravij Joseph by Anuvaj Pal. The writer notes that Joseph has “dashingly handsome features.” And goes on to write: ‘With dashingly ordinary features and trying to write plays in a noisy Bandra apt for an SM generation of apathetic Angry Bird players, I caught up with my good friend to find out the recipe to his delicious life.” Attempt to parse sentence = unsuccessful.

-p. 120: Full-page essay by Gaurav Bhatia on how society mavens in Mumbai can now wear sunglasses indoors. “Plus, conjuring up an image of cool detachment in any situation means you’re suddenly so much more powerful and so staggeringly intimidating. In sunglasses, the avoided eye contact can take you places without you having to pay a toll for them.”

-p. 122: Socialite Jemima Khan talks about her ordeal as the passenger in the Paul Mukonyi flight and how she finally overcomes the resulting trauma with the help of a class. (Taking the time, of course, to bash her ex-husband, cricketer Imran Khan, for his thoughtlessness during her hardship.) Across the story of her ordeal, a full-page shot of the socialite pouting at the camera with over-plucked eyebrows.

-p. 158 A page on Jimmy Choo designer Tamara Mellon on a new clutch purse specifically designed for Indian women. “India is special to us,” says Mellon, “We couldn’t be more grateful for the reception we got from Indian women.” I’m sure they are very grateful.

-p. 193: The actress on the cover, Nargis Fakhri, in an exclusive tell-all with the magazine whereupon the writer harps at length about the actress’s down-to-earth-ness. Says Fakhri: “There’s nothing in this world I can’t live without – except, of course, a lip plumper.”

-p. 240: Ahmad Rafay Alam interviews Pakistani novelist Mohammad Hanif. Feature photo shows Hanif relaxing on a cushiony chair with his iPad. Writes Alam: “I’ve just finished the manuscript of his new novel and have a series of questions lined up. But I feel stupid asking a writer what inspires him. So we discuss the craft instead.” Alam also notes in the article: “My wife was his publicist” and goes on to say “Lunch is very relaxed. It’s like being with family and old friends.” Facepalm. At the close of the article:“It’s time for me to go. Hanif and I have been talking for several hours, and I have to catch a flight…. We spend some time in his office, reading the Sunday paper, and then Hanif drops me off at a taxi stand.”

-p. 250-256: The Vogue “Beauty Report” features a variety of make-up tips – none for darker skin.

-p. 257: An ad from Delhi’s best plastic surgeon.

-p. 268: Vogue’s “Beauty Buzz” notes that Namita Jain’s book, “The Four-Week Countdown Diet” is available for release. Dieting seems to be a nationwide phenomenon.

-p. 269: An ad for URiage Edu Thermale suggests you blow away your skin problems.” These problems include “dark skin.”

-p. 279: Another ad for a toilet. “Couple prefers staying home in their new a bathroom.”

-p. 289 “Vogue Living” features the Indianized home of American songstress Cher, who says. “I’ve played around with Buddhism for years.” According to the article, Cher asked her interior designer for “something ethnic, spicy and romantic.”

-p. 302-306: Features the doughy faces of party-planners-for-the-elite and their ‘tips.’

-p. 302 The first woman, a children’s party planner, says, “Once I was working on the chief minister’s grandson’s party and I had no idea until the day of the event.” #humblebrag

-p. 305 : “Recently, when a seven-year-old toting a Burberry handpage walked into her office, Arora even suggested a Burberry theme.” #shudder

-p. 308: More rich-kid-party-planner-confessions: “One 12-year old told us she can’t eat cookies because she’s on a diet.”

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3 responses to “Notes from the Vogue India September 2011 Issue

  1. I think Jonathan Swift would be very proud of you.

  2. There’s nothing in this world I can’t live without – except, of course, a lip plumper.”

    I need to work this phrase into my daily life.

  3. …So not a lot different from the Western Vogues then?

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