The party secrets.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It is that cold time of the year when all the beautiful people of the capital join the exodus to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival. Delhi is cruelly dumped; its high society becomes a pathetic shadow of its former self.
This, once again, became obvious to The Delhi Walla one cold evening at the cocktail reception held in Max Mueller Bhawan by The Alkazi Foundation to celebrate the opening of photo exhibition, Calcutta: Chitpur Road Neighbourhoods (A Kolkata Heritage Project).
There were so few people present at the garden-side venue of the German cultural center that all the guests could have easily fitted into the drawing room of a MIG (Middle Income Group) flat of DDA (Delhi Development Authority). The only famous face was that of culture historian Geeti Sen, while there were too many unfamiliar-looking basmati-rice complexioned people.
It ought to be said that those foreigners were dressed less predictably than Indians. Among the latter, one lovely woman had gloves so charmingly homely that they were ideal to be exhibited in the house parties of some remote suburb (her eye-glasses were large and cool), a long-haired woman–she spoke in a strange Western World accent–was wearing a set of salwar suit that was perfect for a wedding in rural Punjab; a young unshaven man proudly flaunted a cap that stood out for its simian characteristics.
Ms Sen’s blue silk sari was the evening’s high point, or perhaps it was the manner in which she was smoking her cigarette and holding her wine glass and chatting amiably to the guests—all at the same time.
The smart waiters, too, tried to rescue the evening. One had a handsome haircut, another had a nice earring.
Even so, the evening felt forlorn. The real parties seemed to be unfolding in some other world. The biting cold made it worse. One man stood alone in a corner having wine and peanuts. He was the most suitable representation of the party’s mood. But do not despair–Jaipur, too, shall pass.
The world outside Jaipur
1. (Geeti Sen)