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 Mahul Brahma’s book ‘Dark Luxe’ is about nightmares of the luxury world

Mahul Brahma’s book ‘Dark Luxe’ is about nightmares of the luxury world

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 26 Nov 2018, 03:41 pm

Author and luxury commentator launched his second book of the ‘Luxe Duology’ recently. His first book was on the evolution of luxury titled ‘Decoding Luxe’. This book explores the darkness that hides behind the dazzle of luxury.

A tete-a-tete with the author on his thoughts about the book.


Tell us about Dark Luxe? How did you select the luxe products for the stories/book?

Dark Luxe is an anthology of 13 short stories and a tailpiece on luxury. It is the second book of the “Luxe Duology” after “Decoding Luxe”. From the glossy magazine pages with “price on request” tag, “Dark Luxe” takes readers to the other end of the spectrum. These horror stories are pure work of fiction, though not limited by it. These stories are buried deep into the Mediterranean or in the sanctum-sanctorum of our hearts. Dark Luxe tells you the tale of how we humans are all the same in our core, dominated by one or many of the seven deadly sins.

The luxury products in these stories are the protagonists and they share their version of the event in which they have been made an accessory or in some cases they have acted on their own accord. So selection of products boiled down to the choice of protagonists, and here it was a mix of imagination and reality. In some cases the stories led to the protagonist, in others the protagonists led to the stories. Whether it is the Princess Cut Tiffany ring or the Rolls Royce Phantom or the Rolex watch or the luxury yacht or a Dom Perignon vintage champagne – all of them share their tales as a silent witness that are far from the dazzle they exude.


What about the Luxe Duology?

The “Luxe Duology” is the two part series of my books on luxury – Decoding Luxe and Dark Luxe. This is the first duology of its kind on luxury internationally. The interesting part is that while the first is non-fiction the second is fiction. So it is not like a conventional story in two parts but a story none the less, unconventional and thrilling wherein it completes the entire spectrum of luxury – from dazzle to darkness.

My objective with the Luxe Duology is to expand the scope of luxury beyond “price tags” and make it more inclusive so that more and more people can start understanding, appreciating and accepting luxury as an integral part of their life and not shun it as something that belongs to another world. 


What was the thought process behind exposing the dark side of luxury?

Luxe or dazzle has to have a dark side, it is like Yin and Yang. I have interviewed many luxury brand owners and custodians as well as members from royalty during my stint with New York Times when I was editing a luxury supplement. During these chats I have heard, off the record, numerous stories, be it an espionage between two luxury giants over a design for a fashion line or bloodshed between brothers over a piece of priceless jewel. However, these stories are very well guarded secrets and become a folklore, either corporate or royalty. It was then I thought that with ‘Decoding Luxe’ if I am showcasing the evolution of luxe, with the other part of the ‘Luxe Dulogy’ I will expose this ugly side of luxury, albeit in a form that will be more acceptable to readers. And that is why ‘Dark Luxe’ is a fiction.

These short stories about The Dark Life of Luxe are figments of my imagination but not limited by it…it is interspersed with facts.


Why have you used an alternate sequence of life and death in the title of the stories? Also your views on how some stories connected.

The sequencing of the stories which alternates between “Life of…” and “Death of…” is a deliberate attempt to give a rhythm to the way the stories are told to the readers. It is a sway between two extremes of our existence as well the existence of luxury. It is only when we explore the two ends of the spectrum we get to know the truth and so this aims to bring out that truth that hides behind fiction and folklore to the readers.

In filmmaking there is a very popular term that we use, POV shot or point of view shot. The camera transforms itself into the eyes of the protagonist and the story develops accordingly. So, in ‘Dark Luxe’ I have told the stories from the POV of my protagonists. And there are stories in which the same event is told from two perspectives and how these turn out to be so different that it warrants separate tales.


An interesting aspect of the book is that although fiction, the stories are interspersed with facts and historical backgrounds. Tell us a bit about why you chose such a mix. Also a little about ‘death of a slumber’ as I found luxury of sleep quite an intriguing thought.


As a luxury commentator I think unless I am able to give a historic background of the protagonist the readers will not be able to connect or relate to with the way the story progresses as well as the behavior of the protagonists.


Yes, the luxury of sleep has been quite a popular notion and so I thought I will explore it little differently. And I started with the premise “what if slumber has a mind of his own…” and let the story flow from the perspective of slumber. This is very different as this one delves more with a philosophical and notional aspect of luxury unlike others which are luxury brands and thus very tangible. I will not divulge any further and will expect my readers to let me know their thoughts.  


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