Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossin’ you in style some day
– Frank Sinatra
My favourite time of the day is dusk. When the evening turns a into a smudge of inky blue and the air is spiced with the aroma of mystery and intrigue. I waltz down the street to the sound of my own imagined music. Sometimes it’s an off-kilter jazz tune, sometimes it’s a lilting thumri. Sometimes, it’s an energetic string quartet keeping pace with my hurried steps. At this bewitching hour, I am the creator of my universe, the author of my tale, the spirited heroine in my own Bogart movie. Like my favourite fictional character, Holly Golightly, I am the perplexer, wanderess and tease.
I don’t see life through rose-tinted glasses. But through the incandescent prism of frosted glass. Lit by candles, flavoured with cognac, vanilla and cinnamon, and scented with cherry blossoms and neroli. I live like an epicure, a gourmand, a connoisseur of people, cities, cultures and experiences. An aesthete with a keen and unerring sense of sophistication. Picking my way through the intoxicating rolodex of colours, tastes, sights, textures and sounds that surround me.
Being sophisticated is not about cultivating artifice or pretence. Real sophistication is the ability to live artfully and romance life to the hilt. To tune into the world with all my senses. To dare to be me, with chicness, style and panache. To be sophisticated is to love and savour the things, feelings, states and flavours that move and excite me. Neruda’s poetry. Ghalib’s couplets. Picasso’s art. Wit, flirtation and conversation. Black crepe, pearls and rouge. Smoky green tea and crisp, dry martinis.
I am no fickle trend hunter. I set (and reset) my own style. Neither do I fancy imprisoning myself in past lives and bygone eras. It is the quicksilver flash of the present moment that has me hooked. Challenging me to let go of outmoded ways of being and embrace newer, more stimulating and contemporary versions of myself. It is the seductive siren song of Nowness that keeps me on my toes. Coaxing me to transcend the limits of personal history, narratives and baggage and walk lightly. With easy charm and blithe elegance. As if the world is my very own oyster.