With 2020 behind us, we look at what became the biggest luxury in the lives of most people irrespective of geography and wealth. Seasoned luxury market analyst and founding Managing Director, Maison India — Gaurav Bhatia has called our ‘homes’ to be the biggest luxury last year.
Our homes – the greatest blessing amidst the pandemic
For the first time in the post-World War 2 era, 2020 was one of the most devastating years for the whole of humanity. Perhaps for the first time in history, the world came to a standstill. When the world outside our houses almost became a threat to the entire humanity, our homes became a sanctuary, a cocoon for almost all of us.
“We tend to take our lives for granted and often forget our greatest blessings until an outside force makes us realize how valuable the little joys are. Last year made us appreciate how warm and safe our homes are, and how cocooned we are, irrespective of psychographic and demographic, where you live and how large or small your home is”, he says.
‘Stay at home’ became the tagline to ‘flatten the curve’ worldwide. Our homes became our comfort zones, and the workplace for millions of people. People from different regions across the globe started posting their experiences and pictures through various social media platforms. “Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter were filled with filled with posts pictures of people sharing their experiences at home. Often with anecdotes of their refuge – cooking, baking, music, yoga, poetry, and so on and so forth,” Gaurav Bhatia Sotheby’s Ex MDadds.
“With the access of a smartphone and social media, the joke has been that people have actually become more ‘anti-social’ adversely affecting relationships amongst the family members. In 2020, the ‘staying at home’ gave the opportunity to the families to reboot and rebuild their bonds as they got an immense opportunity for long and engaging conversations, and doing things together”, he says.
Bhatia also indicated towards homes turning places where people started empowering themselves via education and developing skills. He said that couches became places of learning where people learned how not to share negative and unverified information. “From developing new skills, introduction to new areas such as human rights activism to learning how to become a responsible user of social media, our homes became the place of learning and self-expression.”
What did he enjoy the most staying at home? “Living with all my art and actually learning how to appreciate it more. That and of course the bonding with the children over elaborate meals. We all became Michelin star chefs. Or so we think!” he chuckles. “But yes, more than anything else, just breathing and being thankful for a roof over our heads and being safe” he concludes.
Touché we say. What after all can be more luxurious than being safe at home while living life to the fullest? However, we must also not forget the ones who were away from their homes and families, found last year one of the most challenging times of their lives. Hence, to cherish what Bhatia calls the greatest luxuries amidst the pandemic — our homes.
With over two decades of experience in the industry, Gaurav Bhatia is well known for his divergent ideas in the luxury industry. From helming leadership positions in Sotheby’s India to LVMH Moet Hennessy, he has led a number of high-end international luxury brands in India and abroad.