Shock-proof? That's me. So imagine my reaction to a call I received a few months ago offering me—yes, me—a Ferrari at a special price! "Sorry, I think you've got the wrong Dé—it's my husband who's a Formula 1 fanatic," I said. But no, the gentleman at the other end continued his persuasive spiel. What made him think I was in the market for a sex machine (also known as a Ferrari)? "Imagine, you'd be the first woman in India to own one," he said smoothly. Great idea. Pity I didn't have the money. Not even for his "Special Offer" (Ha!!). What the Ferrari salesman's pitch conveyed went far beyond me and my individual bank balance. Who could have imagined, even five years ago, that an impossibly upmarket, international car company would target Indian women as potential customers? This is how far we've come...and frankly, it's a great feeling.
Often, as I sit at my dining table, writing furiously, the phone rings and I mentally curse the caller for interrupting. Five out of 10 such calls are from velvety-voiced salesmen offering me all sorts of amazing services and facilities. Home loans, soft loans, insurance policies, wealth management schemes, car loans. I get a special kick out of these calls. "Hey...do these people really think I have the means to afford all these goodies?" Women the world over are in a similar position—suspended between a sense of disbelief and one of smugness. "We've done it!" they crow, as more and more canny marketers court them, stalk them, seduce them with offers they find hard to refuse.